Laird hoping to shine on Wentworth debut

5/23/2012 12:30:05 PM
Martin Laird  (Getty Images)
Martin Laird (Getty Images)
Scotland's highest-ranked golfer makes his debut in The European Tour's flagship event at Wentworth Club this week - alongside World Number One Rory McIlroy.

At the age of 29, Martin Laird is perhaps better known on the other side of the Atlantic, but after his joint runner-up finish at the recent Players Championship on the US PGA Tour, he arrives as the World Number 31.

Laird rejoined The European Tour at the start of the season and hopes to pick up a first Ryder Cup cap later in the year.

"It's one of the main reasons I'm back (in Europe), but it's not the only reason," said Laird, who next week is best man at a friend's wedding in Scotland.

Europe's Captain José María Olazábal has already been in touch with him, and he hopes they find time for a chat during the week.

That should certainly be possible as they tee off only 35 minutes apart in the opening two rounds - Laird with McIlroy and Ernie Els, Olazábal with the English duo of Simon Khan and Robert Rock.

"I wanted to talk to him to let him know that making the Team is something I want to do,” Laird said.

"I'm coming back in the summer, playing the French Open the week before the Scottish Open, plus The Open the week after that. I'm going to ask him if there's anything else I can do to improve my chances."

Laird has fond memories of watching the World Match Play at Wentworth Club on TV before it moved to Spain, and hopes to continue his good form at a venue he has always wanted to play.

“It's one of the tournaments I used to always watch on TV and I always wanted to play this course,” he added. “I’m very happy to be here, and especially when the sun is shining like it is right now.

“I always remember the last few holes, anything can happen over the last few holes, the two par fives to finish.  

“I remember watching some great matches in the Match Play around here. I’m coming off a good week two weeks ago in America, and obviously that brought me a lot of confidence.  

“I've been saying for about the last month or more than a month I've actually been playing well, just not scoring any good. It's nice over the last two weeks to finally have a couple of good results and actually get some scores up there when I feel like I've been playing that way for a while.”