Thursday, September 29, 2011

Martin Laird hopes to beat it lucky in Las Vegas

Posted by Admin On 11:45 AM

Scotland's Martin Laird will hope to hit the jackpot in Las Vegas again this week at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Laird claimed his first US Tour title in the contest in 2009, and was only deprived of a victorious defense last year when Jonathan Byrd fired a hole-in-one on the fourth hole of a three-man play-off.
The 28-year-old from Glasgow is a combined 40 under par for his last two appearances in Vegas and goes into the event in good form after finishing 12th in the BMW contest earlier this month.
That meant Laird finished 31st in the FedEx Cup standing, agonizingly missing out on a top-30 place which would have tenable him a place at last week's Tour Championship at East Lake. Laird was faced with a tough choice of where to play this week, with his native Scotland performance the Dunhill Links Championship, where he ended fifth last year thanks to a closing round of 67 at St Andrews.
The reason I'm not coming back for the Dunhill this year, unfortunately, is that it falls opposite the contest in Las Vegas,Laird said.But I hope to be back next year to play.With the FedEx Cup over for the year, attention turns to the 'Fall Series' and the battle to keep playing rights for next season by concluding in the top 125 on the money list.
The top 125 after the four remaining events earn their cards for 2012 and Laird offers hope to those stressed at the wrong end of the list. In 2009, Laird was 134th in the standing before winning in Vegas to earn a two-year exception and move up to 62nd, and there are several other examples of players outstanding it lucky in the betting capital of the United States.
In 2008 Marc Turnesa came to Las Vegas 138th on the money list and a 500-1 stranger but went on to win the title, while Troy Matteson was 143rd in 2006 before his win. World number 11 Nick Watney is the favorite to claim his fifth Tour designation and third of 2011, having ended joint sixth at TPC Summerlin last year.


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