Whilst Robert MacIntyre has attracted most of the headlines this week – understandable considering he’s making his first Masters appearance – another Scot is quietly going about his business in very impressive fashion.
Martin Laird is nicely placed at one-over par, following up his opening round of 73 with a 71 early on day two.
That’s more than good enough to ensure the 38-year-old will be part of the Augusta action over the weekend, a decade on from finishing in a tie for 20th on his tournament debut.
Making his efforts all the more impressive is that he had to contend with being in a twosome, one of only two such groups in this week’s first two rounds.
This place, especially yesterday with the wind switching all over the place and the greens being firm, I was exhausted yesterday,” said Laird. “I was in a twosome in the middle of the field yesterday, so it was a five-and-a-half hour round yesterday in a twosome.
“So when I finished yesterday, I was pretty mentally beat up. Now, I just plan to kind of rest of up because my game is in good shape.”
This week marks Laird’s first Masters appearance since 2013, his invitation sealed when he won his fourth PGA Tour title at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open late last year.
“To get back here obviously is great,” he admitted. “A little disappointed with my finish, but up until then I played really nicely all day, and looking forward to the weekend.”
Key to Laird’s impressive performance so far has been his iron play. Or rather resolving an issue he has had with that part of his game recently.
“My coach and I kind of figured something out early in the week and I've been hitting them very nice,” he added. “Playing in the wind last week [at the Valero Texas Open], I was leaning on the ball a little bit on the way down just to stay behind it a little bit more. I was kind of hitting pulls, getting on the ball a little bit from playing in the wind.
“So I’ve just got to stay behind a little better, and like I said, I immediately got really good on the range and then in practice, so I was pretty happy coming in
“I think this is a second-shot golf course so your iron game has got to be on around here.”