Published: 10:59 30/03/2011
Martin Laird is hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow countryman Sandy Lisle to become the second Scotsman to win the Masters when he makes his first appearance at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia next week.
Laird claimed his second PGA tour event when winning the prestigious Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill last weekend and surprising many casual observers to discover he heralds from Glasgow.
The 28-year-old Scot had not appeared on the radar on home shores because he has played his golf in the USA since moving at the tender age of 17 to take up a golf scholarship at Colorado State University.
Laird lifted his first PGA Tour title in 2009 when winning the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and in 2010 reached two playoffs to help him climb into the top 50 of the world golf rankings and earn his debut at the Masters.
Over the years, Laird has resisted going to spectate at Augusta, hoping to make his first visit as a player, but on the Monday of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral he made his first trip to look at the Augusta course and was suitably inspired.
He said: "I loved the golf course. I feel like it really does set up pretty good for me with hitting it high. And I know those greens will get real firm like this, and obviously putting is probably the strongest part of my game right now and that's really what it all comes down to coming down the stretch at Augusta. I can't wait to get there."
Laird’s confidence is understandable as he continues to progress with Sunday’s victory at Bay Hill capping a brilliant set of results through the Florida swing having previously tied tenth in the WGC-Cadillac Championship and tied fifth in the Transitions Championship.