Scotland’s ‘odd couple’ of Russell Knox and Martin Laird in World Cup bid

Scotland's Russell Knox. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Scotland's Russell Knox. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
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Eleven years after Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warren joined forces to win the event, Russell Knox and Martin Laird are aiming to put Scotland back on top of the golfing world in Australia this week.

The duo’s title bid in the World Cup in Melbourne is the second time this season that they’ve teamed up, having produced a good performance to finish seventh in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April.

The Scottish pair carded a 63 in one of the rounds in that PGA Tour event and Knox, who invited Laird to link up with him on this occasion as the next highest placed player in the world rankings, is hoping they can figure prominently once again.

“It was kind of a no-brainer that he and I should represent Scotland,” said Knox, who is making his second appearance in the tournament after also travelling to Australia two years ago to partner Duncan Stewart in an event won by the Danish duo, Thorbjorn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen.

“Also making it easier was that the Zurich is virtually the same format as the World Cup. But then, in saying that, there are pretty much no similarities in our games (laughing).

“I would say Martin is probably the highest ball-hitter on the PGA Tour whereas I am probably one of the lowest ball-hitters currently on the tour.

“Martin plays everything left-to-right while I play the majority of my shots right-to-left and I am very straight off the tee and he is maybe not as straight, so we compliment each other extremely well or we did when we played last in New Orleans.”

The tournament is a 72-hole stroke-play event, with the first and third days played as fourballs and the second and final days as foursomes.

Olesen and Kjeldsen are defending their title at The Metropolitan Club, where their main rivals include host club pair Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith, as well as England’s Ian Poulter and Tyrrell Hatton and US duo Kyle Stanley and Matt Kuchar.