Waste Management Phoenix Open. Martin Laird Loves Scottsdale.

White Dragon GolfPhoenix Open

Martin Laird loves Scottsdale, he leads the Waste Management Phoenix Open after three rounds at TPC Scottsdale.

 Waste Management Phoenix Open

Martin Laird / Getty Images

Martin carded a third round -3 under par 68 and leads the Waste Management Phoenix Open by three shots with a -13 under par tournament total. With all the young players around him Martin said he felt pretty old, and was happy to roll in a few putts;

“I felt like an old man in the group, it’s been a long time since I have been the first one hitting every shot every hole.”

“Today was a little bit of everything, hit some of the best shots I have had all week, and also hit some of the worst shots.”

“It’s always nice when you’re making some putts, and I poured in a few nice ones today.”

“I putted solid the first two days. I didn’t really miss any I felt like I should have made, I just didn’t really make any,”

“I feel like I’ve been putting really well, and it’s one of those things, just keep doing what you’re doing and one day it’s going to get good and go in. That just happened to be today for me.”

“I have been practicing hard and getting ready. I really like this stretch of tournaments I’ve got here, and obviously like playing at home and being here. I was looking forward to this week.”

Three strokes adrift is Hideki Matsuyama at -10 under par for the competition, a magical -8 under par 63 third round elevating him quickly up the leaderboard, and into contention for the title, tied in second place with Zach Johnson and Brooks Koepka.

Zach was full of fighting talk for tomorrow’s final round, especially the finishing holes, the island-green par-5 15th, short par-3, 16th and the easily driveable 332 yard par-4, 17th. They can lead to quick changes on the leaderboard;

“The tournament is not over until you get to that stretch.”

“If there is rough, I like the golf course. If the four to ten footers mean a lot, I like the golf course.”

“I felt like my game was coming and I wanted to kind of end the West Coast on at least a somewhat sweet note rather than a bitter note.”

Brooks is known as a wandering global golfer, he came to this tournament after a short break from his travels;

“I had played so much over the last two years, I got a little tired of golf, tired of the travel. It’s been a long two years, but the break was good for me.”

Hideki won last year’s Memorial Tournament and said it was his biggest win to date;

“I think obviously the Memorial would be my biggest win.”

“I don’t know how that’s going to translate going into Sunday. I don’t know if that’s going to help, but I hope that I can play tomorrow like I did today and have a good day.”


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.