Valero Texas Open. Laird of the Manor.

Martin is the Laird of the Manor, with his win at the Valero Texas Open, on the TPC San Antonio, AT&T Oaks Course.

 

Foot on the gas

Martin Laird / Cohen / Getty Images

Martin won by two shots, conjuring up an amazing final bogey free round of -9 under par 63, for a tournament total of -14 under par, to win the Valero Texas Open. He needed something special to hold off a resurgent Rory McIlroy, who had a lovely last round -6 under par 66 for his total of -12 under par, giving him second place on his own.

This win puts Martin into the field next week at Augusta National, the Masters. Martin said he had felt pretty confident about his golf game;

I came in here quietly confident, even though my record this year has been poor to say the least. But golf’s a funny game, doesn’t matter what you did two weeks ago. It turns around pretty quickly. I know how good Rory is, but it doesn’t matter if it’s Rory or Jim or Billy, if someone’s behind me making birdies like they were, I know I’ve got to keep making birdies. That was a pretty strong leaderboard at the top there.” 

Rory was happy with his game and his form going into next weeks Major;

“I feel like my game’s in really good shape going into next week. A round like that gives me a nice bit of confidence. I thought if I got to 12 under today that might have been good enough, but Martin just played too good and holed so many putts. It was hard to keep up. Everything I wanted to accomplish this week, I accomplished. I’m very happy that I’m going into next week with my game in good shape and my confidence level pretty high. I think it’s just about getting my short game as sharp as possible around there, I think everything else is pretty good. Iron play is good. Driving the ball,  I didn’t quite drive the ball that well today but my 3-wood was working pretty good.”

There were three players tied in third position at -11 under par, Jim Furyk, Charlie Hoffman and Billy Horschel, the long time leader of this tournament, and runner-up last week. Billy put his failure to convert a winning lead down to nerves;

“Everyone’s going to have butterflies, I don’t care if it’s Tiger Woods or Joe Schmo at the golf course, you’re going to have butterflies, and you have to learn how to deal with it.”

 

 

 

Matt Kuchar Wins The Players Championship

Matt Kuchar has won The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Matt had a final round of -2 under par for 70, and a tournament total of -13 under par. This is Matt’s fourth career win, and his first since the 2010 Barclays, where he won in a playoff against Martin Laird.

Kuchar the closer

Matt Kuchar Getty Images

His nearest rivals were two shots behind at -11 under par, four players tied at this score; Martin Laird, Zach Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Ben Curtis. Coming in two shots further back  on -9 under par was Luke Donald, who recorded a fabulous -6 under par on his last nine holes, for a round of 66.  He finished in 6th place but needed to finish 4th or higher to replace Rory McIlroy as world No 1.

The Players 2012: resurgent Luke Donald trumped by Scotland’s Martin Laird

Photo: AP

The 54 hole leader Kevin Na waggled his way round in a frustrating +4 over par, 76. A sad performance taking into account his previous rounds, I guess his jitters got to him in the end.

Bob Estes had the round of the day, shooting a sparkling -7 under par 65, to finish with a flourish and in a tie for 15th place.