THE OPEN

Martin Laird secures 'special' Open spot

Martin Laird

Martin Laird secured his place at the Open after finishing in a tie for third at the Quicken Loans National.

The 34-year-old Glaswegian carded a three-under-par 67 in the final round at TPC Potomac to finish two shots behind Kyle Stanley and Charles Howell III, with both also earning spots at Royal Birkdale. Stanley then defeated Howell in a play-off for his second PGA Tour win.

For Laird, it’ll be his sixth Open appearance and first since Muirfield in 2013 and described his return to the championship as ‘special’.

“The Open was the golf tournament growing up that I used to go and watch and dreamt of playing in,” said Laird, whose best finish was T44 in 2013. “I’ve been lucky to play in a few and to make this one is special and I’ll enjoy going back over there.

Martin Laird1

“I have never played Royal Birkdale. I’m sure it’s a great course but I’ve never been over there so it will be fun to get over and learn the course. I’ve heard great things about it.

“The Open is my favourite golf tournament of the year. Growing up in Scotland, that was the tournament as a kid I would go to with my dad and watch so to have the chance to play in it at any time is special.”

As well as Stanley, Howell and Laird, Sung Kang also earned the final of the four spots available at the Quicken Loans National.

Laird joins fellow Scots Sandy Lyle, Paul Lawrie and Russell Knox in the field, and more could join at Final Open Qualifying tomorrow.

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