Laird is up to the Scottish challenge

MARTIN Laird will relish the opportunity to return home this month to join the Scottish challenge for The Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.

MARTIN Laird will relish the opportunity to return home this month to join the Scottish challenge for The Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.

Laird aims to capitalise on a fine debut in the tournament last year, when he found himself one shot off the lead after the first round before finishing 10th.

The Arizona-based 27-year-old might spend the bulk of his time on the USPGA Tour but his Scottish roots are never far from his mind thanks to the St Andrew’s cross he proudly displays on his golf bag, his belt and even on the tees he uses.

“I am extremely excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to tee it up in The Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond once again,” he said.

“I had a fantastic time last year and I have been looking forward since then to having the chance to play in my home Open again. The support I received from the home crowd was brilliant and I look forward to having another good tournament this year on one of the best golf courses in the world.”

Last summer, Laird followed his appearance in The Barclays Scottish Open with a trip to Turnberry for The Open Championship

Another Scottish double-header is on the cards this month as he has qualified for The Open at St Andrews thanks to a heroic performance in the international final qualifier in Texas.

An opening 69 left Laird up against it but a sensational second round 63 booked him a trip to St Andrews where he will be cheered on by his parents who live only 15 minutes away.

The Texan triumph has not been the only success posted by Laird since his appearance at Loch Lomond last July. In October he was on song to claim the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, beating Chad Campbell and George McNeill in a play-off for his first US PGA Tour title.

Laird will be joined by a host of his fellow countrymen on the Bonnie Banks including the man who, to date, is the only Scot to have triumphed at Loch Lomond, current European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie.

“As always, to play in front of a home crowd is such a great thrill and I look forward to The Barclays Scottish Open every year,” said Montgomerie, who captured the title in 1999.

“The fans are incredible – knowledgeable and enthusiastic – and I really appreciate the support they show me. As a past champion the event holds special memories for me. I know what a great event it is and there is nothing I would love more than to lift the trophy once again. I have no doubt it will be a fantastic week on what is a world-class golf course.”

 

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