Friday, October 16, 2015

Scot is tied third in US PGA Tour event

Martin Laird may have turned the corner

By Kevin Casey   

No player from the afternoon group could match Brendan Steele's
opening 9-under 63 at the Open, but the best effort came from an unexpected candidate: Martin Laird.
The Scot pieced together a bogey-free round on the Silverado CC North Course, taking him to an opening 7-under 65 and tied for third with Harold Varner III. 

It was a day of bursts for Laird, who opened with three straight pars and suddenly came alive with three birdies in his  next four holes. On No. 12 tee, Laird still stood 3 under, but then went  on to birdie four of his next six holes. Only a par at the reachable  par-5 18th could put any sort of damper on Laird's impressive first day.
But it's a small damper at that, especially considering how far Laird
 fell in 2015. The 32-year-old earned four top-10s in his first seven
starts in the wraparound 2014-15 PGA Tour season, as he rose to 118th in the world after the Valspar Championship in March.
That would be his high point.
Following the Valspar, Laird would not record another TOP-40 the
remainder of the PGA Tour season. That was punctuated by an especially poor send-off, with Laird ending the season on five of six missed cuts  and a drop to his current No. 202 ranking.
A new season, though, and things are already looking up. Laird's
Thursday 65 is his lowest round on Tour since the opening round of the Shriners Hospital Open last fall. And the 32-year-old Scot has good memories of a T-3 at the event last year.
Thursday was only a small step for Laird, but a fresh start has aided him well 18 holes into the 2015-16 PGA Tour season.



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