Martin Laird aiming to measure up in majors and Ryder Cup
Martin Laird believes he's now got the game to make his presence felt in majors and is also hoping he can go further than the measuring up stage to become a Ryder Cup player.
The 37-year-old's return to winning ways on the PGA Tour after a seven-year drought in last weekend's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas propelled him back into the world's top 100.
The success has secured a first trip back to Augusta National since 2013 for next April's Masters while returns should also be on the cards for the other three men's majors.
"Definitely," replied Laird to being asked by The Scotsman if he felt he had unfinished business in the game's biggest events, having tied for 20th on his Masters debut in 2011 and also finishing just outside the top 20 in the US Open in 2013 but missing more cuts than he's made in 21 appearances in majors.
"I feel my all-round game now is probably better suited to go and play those tougher courses. I know how to play golf a little better these days. Mentally, I'm also better.
"I played well in The Masters my first year. But, overall, my major record has not been as good as I would like. It's exciting to think I can have a nice run in big events next year."
While Laird is not currently a member of the European Tour and, therefore, not eligible for Ryder Cup qualification or selection, the Denver-based Glaswegian has not given up on seeing that particular dream come true one day.
"I haven't thought about it for a while because my game hasn't even been near the level of getting on that team," he admitted. "Obviously when you win, all of a sudden that sort of chat comes up.
"We'll see what happens. If I can play well in one or two of the majors, you never know. It would still be something that I'd obviously love to do. It would always be a dream to play on that team."
His best chance so far was in 2012, having risen to 21st in the world rankings on the back of his Arnold Palmer Invitational win the previous year."I was playing really well around that time and they had me measured for the outfits when I played in the 2012 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth," he recalled. "I guess that's the closest I came (laughing).
"I just didn't play well enough after that to make the team. But it would be great to even be back in the conversation, back in the mix, and see what happens."
Laird's last appearance in the Scottish Open was at Gullane in 2018, but, with a two-year exemption for the PGA Tour under his belt following that fourth title triumph on the circuit, he is hoping to be back playing in front of his home fans again next season.
"I've always said that the Scottish Open trophy is one that I would absolutely love to get my hands on," he said "I haven't played the last few years because I had to stay over here to play tournaments and make sure I was taking care of business over here. But winning in Scotland, especially the Scottish Open, would be a dream come true."
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