Scotland enjoys a golf renaissance
Paul Lawrie winning the Open De Andalucía, Martin Laird winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Sandy Lyle winning the Senior’s Tour in China has made it very clear that Scottish Golf is going through a period of renaissance more than anything else. Scotland,
often claimed to be the birth place of golf by the Scotts, has remained a dormant nation when it came to playing the sport on the course. This flurry of victories on both sides of the Atlantic will help Scottish golf break new ground in a new generation of
golfers to participate and win laurels for the country in high profile events.
Lawrie, for instance, had not won an event since he last won a European Tour in 2002 and his victory at Open De Andalucía earned him full playing status on the PGA Tour for the year 2012. Lawrie’s splendid win was overshadowed by his compatriot Laird, who
won the coveted Arnold Palmer Invitational right across the Atlantic. Laird, who has lived most of his life in the United Sates and graduated from Colorado State University, didn’t show any reluctance to attribute his success to his home country Scotland.
"It's no secret that Scottish golf has been down for a few years after the end of Monty's [Colin Montgomery’s] dominance," he said. "But we have got a lot of good players and just need to get up there and get experience. To have two wins in one day is massive."
It was a major achievement for the 28-year-old Scot to hold down his nerve on a painstakingly difficult course and the scorching weather. The greens had dried down and became stiffer making it harder to control the ball after it had landed. His caddie commended
the composure Laird showed after he had double bogeyed the 11th to fall three shots behind Steve Marino at one occasion.
Laird has now climbed to the top of the 21st in the World Golf Ranking and is confident to make a run for the top slot in the Masters next month. It would be Laird’s first appearance at the Masters and is all set to repeat the 32-year-old miracle when Fuzzy
Zoeller won the title in his first appearance.
Laird who started off playing left-handed, later had to switch to right-handed playing in the early days as his father was not able to get him any left-handed clubs. Laird still often jokingly remarks to his dad as to what would have happened if he really
had been playing left-handed. As he debuts at the Masters in April, Laird is all the more confident about his form and putting.
"I played Augusta earlier in the month," he said. "I'd never been there before and loved it. It does set up pretty good for me with my length and hitting the ball high. And, obviously, putting is probably the strongest part of my game right now. I can't
wait to get there."
Lawrie was the last Scot to win the 1999 British open. Lawrie has also ensured his entry in the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Spain in May, where Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood will also be participating.