Martin Laird overcomes wait to qualify for US Open

Martin Laird overcame an overnight wait to safely secure his first US Open appearance since 2017 in next week’s event at Torrey Pines in California.

Martin Laird in action during his second round of the US Open qualifier at The Lakes Golf & Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. Picture: Alex Miceli

The 38-year-old Scot was on his 36th and final hole on Monday when play was halted in one of the final qualifiers in Columbus, Ohio, following earlier weather delays.

It was job done, though, as he signed off with a par on his return early on Tuesday morning to secure a spot in the season’s third major.

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Laird was level par after 11 holes in his opening round at Brookside Golf & Country Club before covering the closing stretch in four-under, finishing with three straight birdies, for a 68.

The four-time PGA Tour winner opened his second circuit at The Lakes Golf & Country Club with back-to-back gains then added birdies at the seventh, 16th and 17th before play was stopped due to darkness.

He signed for a 67 after returning to finish with a par, securing fifth spot on nine-under-par in a battle for 16 spots at that venue.

It will be Laird’s seventh US Open appearance, having tied for 21st in 2013 at Merion then finishing joint-32nd in 2017 at Erin Hills on his last two outings.

Bob MacIntyre who secured an exemption through being inside the world’s top 60, is the only other Scot in the Torrey Pines field.

It is the second major running that MacIntyre and Laird will be flying the Saltire, having also teed up in last month’s US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. The duo also played in The Masters in April along with Sandy Lyle.

James Ross, the only other Scot among the hopefuls competing for 66 spots in the final qualifiers, came up just short after producing a great effort at The Bear’s Club in Florida.

The Royal Burgess man carded rounds of 72 and 74 for a two-over-par total in a hotly-contested battle for just six spots.

He finished joint-11th alongside former US Open champion Lucas Glover in an event won by American Patrick Rodgers, with South African duo Thomas Aiken and Branden Grace also progressing at that venue.

“Came up a few short today,” Ross wrote on Twitter. “My tee shots put me into trouble a few too many times out there, costing me a real chance to qualify.”

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