Martin Laird

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Martin Laird
— Golfer —
Personal information
Born (1982-12-29) 29 December 1982 (age 31)
Glasgow, Scotland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 14 st)
Nationality  Scotland
Residence Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.
Spouse Meagan Franks
Children Jack Andrew
Career
College Colorado State University
Turned professional 2004
Current tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 5
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 3
Web.com Tour 1
Other 1
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament T20: 2011
U.S. Open T21: 2013
The Open Championship T44: 2013
PGA Championship T42: 2012

Martin Laird (born 29 December 1982) is a Scottish professional golfer, playing on the PGA Tour. He has won three PGA Tour events in his career, most notably the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2011. Until Russell Knox earned his card via the 2011 Nationwide Tour, Laird was the only Scottish player on the PGA Tour.

Early golf career[edit]

Laird was born in Glasgow, Scotland and played his Junior golf at Kirkintilloch Golf CLub and then moving to play his youth golf at Hilton Park Golf Club. He learned to play golf left-handed but eventually switched to playing right-handed.

College career[edit]

In 2000, at the age of 17 and with the assistance of College Prospects of America, Laird moved to the United States to take up a golf scholarship at Colorado State University under head coach Jamie Bermel.[1] He played for the Colorado State Rams in the Mountain West Conference which had been established in 1999. Playing for four years from 2000–01 to 2003–04 he won four individual titles in college events.[2] His wins were in the Mountain West Conference Men's Golf Championship (1 May 2002),[3] El Diablo Intercollegiate (16 March 2003), Ping Golf Cougar Classic (26 April 2003)[4] and Border Olympics (2 April 2004). In his last 3 years he was selected as one of the All Mountain West Conference Selections. He graduated with a degree in marketing in 2004.

In 2009 he was selected as a member of the "Mountain West Men's Golf 10th Anniversary Team".[5]

Professional career[edit]

Turning professional after college, he won his second professional tournament, the 2004 Denver Open, winning $12,000.[6] In 2004 he played in a single Nationwide Tour event, the Envirocare Utah Classic, but did not make the cut. At the end of 2004 he qualified for the final stage of the PGA Tour's Qualifying School. He finished at 1 over par for a tie for 96th place, 18 shots behind the winner, fellow Brit, Brian Davis. This gave Laird conditional status for the 2005 Nationwide tour.

In 2005 he concentrated full-time on the Nationwide Tour. He had only limited success with a best position of tied 18th in 19 events and earnings of $18,488 placed him 156th in the Nationwide Tour's money list.

During 2006 Laird won the San Juan Open and a tournament on the Gateway Tour, a third tier tour, at The Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa in Arizona.[7] He did not play on the Nationwide Tour but, as in 2004, he qualified for the final stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying School. His 2 under par total left him tied for 64th place, giving him full status on the Nationwide Tour for 2007.

2007: Nationwide Tour success[edit]

In 2007 he again played on the Nationwide Tour, playing a total of 27 events. He won the Athens Regional Foundation Classic in April, earning him $90,000 and then finished tied 3rd in the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship. His $252,679 earnings placed him 13th place on the Nationwide Tour's money list, to earn his PGA Tour card for 2008.

He qualified for the 2007 U.S. Open, his first major, but scored 76 and 79 and didn't make the cut. He ended the year at 251 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

2008: Rookie season on PGA Tour[edit]

In his first season on the PGA Tour, Laird struggled in the first half of the year making the cut only 6 times in 14 events and with a best position of 55th. He showed an improvement in form in July but his main success came in August. He had tied 4th in the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open and then tied 4th again in the Wyndham Championship. These results took him to 128th in the FedEx Cup standings and entry into The Barclays, the first of the FedEx Cup Playoff events. He tied for 7th in this event. The three successive tournaments had earned him $546,225. His good performance in The Barclays raised him to 67 in the FedEx Cup standings giving him entries into the Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship. He eventually finished at 67 in the FedEx Cup standings and he took $110,000 of the Bonus Pool.

Before the final event of the season, the Children's Miracle Network Classic, he was 126th in the PGA Tour's money list behind Shane Bertsch. Only the top 125 would retain their cards for the 2009 season. Bertsch failed to make the cut and with Laird finishing the tournament tied for 21st, the $49,680 he won gave him 125th place on the PGA Tour's money list $11,504 ahead of Bertsch, who dropped to 126th. Had he missed an 8-foot par putt at the final hole, his earnings would have dropped by some $15,000. Laird's season earnings were $852,752. He ended the year ranked 268 in the World Rankings.

2009: Breakthrough year[edit]

As in 2008 Laird had a poor start to the year. Before the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open in August, he had made the cut just 7 times in 19 PGA Tour events and had had a run of 7 successive missed cuts.

On 26 May, Laird secured a place at the 2009 Open Championship after making it through the American qualifier in Texas. He shot rounds of 67 and 65 to share the third spot.[8] In the tournament itself, he scored 74 and 72 to miss the cut by two strokes. The previous week he had finished 10th in the Scottish Open, his first professional tournament in his native Scotland.

On 8 June, Laird made it through qualification for the U.S. Open, set for the Black Course at Bethpage State Park. He gained one of the 13 spots available with rounds of 67 and 70, to make it in by one shot. In the tournament itself, he scored 74 and 71 to miss the cut by one stroke.

In August, Laird finished tied for second in the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open, an alternate event played at the same time as the 2009 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He won $264,000 and raised his Official World Golf Ranking from 303 to 236.[9]

Later in 2009, Laird won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in a three-man playoff for his first PGA Tour win, securing his Tour card for 2010 and 2011. He took the first prize of $756,000 and jumped from 134th to 62nd on the money list. By winning that tournament he became the first Scot to win a PGA Tour event in America since Sandy Lyle won the 1988 Masters Tournament, and the first Scotsman to win any PGA Tour event since Paul Lawrie's 1999 Open Championship triumph.[10] Laird became the highest ranked Scot in the Official World Golf Rankings, his ranking rising from 237 to 108.[11] The victory also gave him qualification for his first WGC event, the 2009 WGC-HSBC Champions tournament, where he finished tied for 54th place.

2010[edit]

Laird played most of his golf on the PGA Tour in 2010. He tied for 4th in season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions and tied 10th in the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

Laird finished 95th in the regular season FedEx Cup standings. He played well in The Barclays tournament, the first FedEx Cup playoff event, at the Ridgewood Country Club in late August. After 3 rounds of 69, 67 and 65 he held a 3 shot lead. After birdies at the first two holes he then went 7,5 to drop 3 shots at the next two holes. A birdie at the 17th, where he holed from 7 feet, gave him a one-stroke lead over Matt Kuchar and meant he needed to par the 18th to win. He hit the green in 2 but then 3 putted from 30 feet, this time missing a 7-foot putt which would have won the tournament outright, and fell into a tie with Kuchar. Kuchar birdied the first playoff hole, the 18th, following a spectacular recovery shot from the left rough, which finished two feet from the pin; Laird, in the right rough from the tee, hit the green, but had a long birdie putt which he missed. The second place finish earned Laird $810,000, left him 3rd in the revised FedEx Cup standings, and boosted his world ranking from 120 to a new personal high of 61.[12]

This performance earned him entry into the remaining FedEx Cup events. He eventually finished 11th in the final FedEx Cup standings and took $300,000 in Bonus Money, despite finishing last in The Tour Championship.

Laird had a rare European outing when he finished tied for 5th in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October and then two weeks later returned to Las Vegas to defend the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open title that he won in 2009. Laird missed a 25-foot putt on the 72nd hole. A three-man playoff then ensued with Laird being joined by Cameron Percy and Jonathan Byrd. Martin had more chances to win but missed putts of varying lengths at the first three sudden-death playoff holes. This was to prove costly as on the 4th playoff hole, Byrd, who had the honour, made the first ever hole in one in a playoff in PGA Tour history to win the title. The tie for 2nd place lifted Laird to a career high world ranking of 55.[13] The following week, he tied for 3rd place in the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia, two shots behind winner Ben Crane, lifting him into the world top 50 with a new ranking to 49.[14]

Despite his win in 2009, Laird did not gain automatic qualification for the first three majors of 2010, as the win was not at a regular season or full-field event, nor was he high enough in the OWGR. He qualified for the Open Championship at the Old Course at St Andrews with rounds of 69 and 63 at Gleneagles Golf & Country Club in Texas, but had rounds of 74 and 83 to miss the cut by 11 shots. He did get automatic qualification for the PGA Championship (winners of PGA Tour events get automatic entry into the PGA Championship regardless of status) and, with rounds of 70 and 74, made his first cut in a major championship. Further rounds of 72 and 73 left him tied for 48th place.

2011: Arnold Palmer Invitational title[edit]

Laird's good form in the latter part of 2010 continued in early 2011. In February, he tied for 3rd in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, lifting his world ranking to 41.[15] In March, he tied for 10th in the WGC-Cadillac Championship and tied for 5th in the Transitions Championship, his ranking rising to 40.[16]

On 27 March 2011, Laird claimed the biggest title of his career at the Arnold Palmer Invitational taking the first prize of $1,080,000. After three rounds of 70, 65 and 70 Laird had a two shot lead over Spencer Levin with Steve Marino and Bubba Watson a further two strokes behind. Laird dropped three shots on the front nine and then had a double-bogey at the 11th. At this stage Levin was also five over par for his round but Marino was two under par, resulting in a seven shot swing and leaving Laird three shots behind Marino. Laird scored three birdies and a bogey in the next five holes, while Marino scored a bogey and then a double-bogey at the par three 17th hole, leaving Laird now with a two shot lead. However Marino birdied the 18th, after holing an eight-foot putt, leaving Laird needing to par the last hole to win. His second shot was on the green but eighty three feet away. He two-putted for the victory. This ensured that he became first ever European winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. After the tournament his world ranking rose to 21.[17]

By qualifying for the 2010 Tour Championship, Laird also qualified for his first Masters. Rounds of 74, 69, 69 and 73 left him tied 20th, his best finish in a major. However he failed to make the cut in the other three majors.

Following his victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational he had other good results, finishing tied for 9th in the Valero Texas Open, tied for 10th in the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and tied for 11th in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He finished 17th in the "regular season" FedEx Cup standings. Despite finishing tied for 12th in the BMW Championship he finished 31st in the FedEx Cup standings and did not qualify for The Tour Championship. Laird and Stephen Gallacher, representing Scotland, tied for 4th in the World Cup. By the end of 2011, Laird's world ranking had dropped to 47.

2012[edit]

Laird started 2012 with second place in the season opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions, a result which lifted his world ranking to 33. Then in May 2012, Laird finished as runner up again at The Players Championship, two strokes behind winner Matt Kuchar. He had briefly led during the second round before finishing four over on the notoriously difficult 16–18 stretch. He then tied for the lead in the final round before a bogey on 18 put paid to his chances of victory.

2013[edit]

On 7 April 2013, Laird won his third career PGA Tour event, the Valero Texas Open, by two strokes from Rory McIlroy. Starting the final round five shots behind overnight leader Billy Horschel, Laird fired a nine-under-par 63, including birdies at his last three holes, to take the title. The win meant that Laird was the last person to gain entry into the 2013 Masters Tournament, ending the streak of 16 consecutive American wins on the PGA Tour, 14 of them in the 2013 season.

Game[edit]

Laird is a long hitter, ranking in the top 20 on the PGA Tour average driving distance statistic in 2009, 2010 and 2011.[18]

He is currently coached by Randy Smith having previously been coached by Mark McCann.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Laird comes from a sporting family, as his cousin David Weatherston plays association football currently for Scottish First Division club Falkirk.

Laird married Meagan Franks on 31 July 2011.[20] She is from Steamboat Springs, Colorado and is the daughter of golf professional Hank Franks.[21]

Amateur wins (1)[edit]

  • 2003 Scottish Youths Championship

Professional wins (5)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (3)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 18 Oct 2009 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open −19 (63-67-67-68=265) Playoff United States Chad Campbell, United States George McNeill
2 27 Mar 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational −8 (70-65-70-75=280) 1 stroke United States Steve Marino
3 7 Apr 2013 Valero Texas Open −14 (70-71-70-63=274) 2 strokes Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy

PGA Tour playoff record (1–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2009 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open United States Chad Campbell, United States George McNeill Laird won with par on third extra hole
Campbell eliminated with par on second hole
2 2010 The Barclays United States Matt Kuchar Lost to birdie on first extra hole
3 2010 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open United States Jonathan Byrd, Australia Cameron Percy Byrd won with eagle on fourth extra hole

Nationwide Tour wins (1)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 22 Apr 2007 Athens Regional Foundation Classic −16 (66-67-70-69=272) 1 stroke United States Jeremy Anderson, United States Justin Bolli

Other wins (1)[edit]

  • 2006 San Juan Open

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP T20 T57 CUT
U.S. Open CUT DNP CUT DNP CUT CUT T21
The Open Championship DNP DNP CUT CUT CUT T72 T44
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP T48 CUT T42 CUT

DNP = Did not play
CUT = Missed the 36-hole cut
"T" = Tied
Yellow background for top-10.

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 2
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 1
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
Totals 0 0 0 0 0 2 17 7
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 2 (three times)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 0

Results in World Golf Championships[edit]

Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Accenture Match Play Championship DNP DNP R64 QF DNP
Cadillac Championship DNP DNP T10 T24 DNP
Bridgestone Invitational DNP T16 T11 T29 T48
HSBC Champions T54 DNP DNP DNP DNP
  • DNP = Did not play
  • QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
  • "T" = tied
  • Yellow background for top-10.

Career earnings by year[edit]

Official earnings on the PGA Tour.[22]

Season Earnings (US$) Rank
2007 0
2008 852,752 125
2009 1,349,354 65
2010 2,137,928 35
2011 2,676,509 23
2012 2,172,883 36
2013 1,755,393 45
Total 10,944,819 126

Although Laird plays most of his golf on the PGA Tour, he has earned money in some tournaments which have not qualified for official PGA Tour earnings:[23]

Team appearances[edit]

Professional

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jamie Bermel – Head Coach". Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Ram Record Book". Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "Mountain West Conference News". Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Mountain West Conference Men's Golf". Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Mountain West Announces 10th Anniversary Men's Golf Team". 12 February 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Laird fires away at 18, clinches Denver Open". Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Grey Goose Gateway Tour – Desert Summer Series". Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Laird and Love secure Open spots". BBC Sport. 26 May 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2009. 
  9. ^ "Official World Golf Ranking 2009 Week 32". 9 August 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  10. ^ Scot Laird seals Las Vegas title, BBC Sport, 19 October 2009.
  11. ^ "Official World Golf Ranking 2009 Week 42". 18 October 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "Official World Golf Ranking 2010 Week 35". 29 August 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "Official World Golf Ranking 2010 Week 43". 24 October 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  14. ^ "Official World Golf Ranking 2010 Week 44". 31 October 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "Official World Golf Ranking 2011 Week 6". 6 February 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  16. ^ "Official World Golf Ranking 2011 Week 12". 20 March 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  17. ^ "Official World Golf Ranking 2011 Week 13". 27 March 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "PGA Tour Driving Distance". Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  19. ^ "Valero Texas Open interview: Martin Laird". PGA Tour. 7 April 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Golf, by TourMiss". 5 August 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "The Herald". 19 May 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  22. ^ Martin Laird – on PGA Tour's official site
  23. ^ "Martin Laird – Results". European Tour. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 

External links[edit]