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July 10, 2013

Martin Laird


GORDON SIMPSON:テつ Welcome back to Castle Stuart and nice to see you resplendent in your tartan trues.テつ First question, do you know what tartan that is?
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ No, I do not, actually.テつ I feel like it's for a good cause today.テつ So always good to be back in Scotland, and tartan trousers definitely makes you feel even more at home.
GORDON SIMPSON:テつ Here we are at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open again, and last year, you had an exceptional third round I remember, maybe not quite so good fourth round, but Top‑20 finish, so you're going in the right direction.
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ Yeah, you know, last year, I remember the third round, I had a chance to win going into Sunday, and Sunday the wind was blowing in a different direction than we played all week and blew a lot stronger, and the course really showed its teeth.テつ Everyone talked about it being an easy golf course, but if you get strong wind in that direction, it definitely isn't easy.
It's a course I feel comfortable on, and I really feel like my game is in a good spot right now, and if I make a few putts this week, I don't see why I can't be up there again with a chance to win.テつ Obviously it would mean a lot to win my National Open.
GORDON SIMPSON:テつ You talk about going in the right direction, and of course season in general has been good, winning in Texas and getting back to Augusta, as well.
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ Yeah, I needed that win.テつ My season was definitely not going the right direction until San Antonio.テつ You know, it's funny how one week like that can turn it all around, and obviously then got to Augusta and been playing well since then.
Probably hitting the ball as good as I have in a long time, consistently, but not making a lot of putts the last few weeks.テつ Putting has been feeling fine but just not seeing the ball go in the hole.テつ Hopefully this week is different.テつ I think I figured a little thing out yesterday, so hopefully that's the case.

Q.テつ Obviously the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart and here at Muirfield next week, how big a couple of weeks is this for you?
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ It's my favourite two weeks of the year.テつ I didn't find out until Monday last time, that I will actually play next week, so even just coming back for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open was a week I was looking forward to.
I came back and obviously get to play here and get to see some family and things, so it's always a great time to come back.テつ And then when I found out Monday that I was playing next week, also, was also a nice boost, and as I said, it's my favourite two weeks of the year and I love to come back, especially when the weather is like this.

Q.テつ Not so long ago that we were talking about the lack of Scots competing at the highest level in world golf and we have 18 here and ten at The Open; that would suggest that Scottish golf is in pretty good health at the moment.
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ Yeah, I was in the physio trailer yesterday and there were six Scots in there.テつ I don't know if that means we are all injured or there's just lots of us here in the field.テつ It's nice; that's something I'm not used to.テつ Playing in America, there's myself and Russell Knox, and that' s about it.
So it's nice to be in a field with so many Scots and see everyone around and obviously next week, there's a strong contingent, too.テつ Yeah, Scottish golf is definitely on the way up and where it should be.
I was just saying earlier that in America now, a few years ago, I would play with people would ask me who the other Scottish professionals are, and you would name some of the names here and they would look at you, not really familiar.テつ But how when I do mention the Scottish players, they know who they are and stuff.テつ That's a good sign that Scottish golf is going the right direction.

Q.テつ Do you feel you have the game at the moment to win over here in Scotland?
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ I really do.テつ I really like this golf course and I think it sets up well for me.テつ It's a course I feel comfortable on and one that last year, I remember I got in the mix and I just feel comfortable here.テつ Even though it's only the third year here, but it seems like a course I've played lots of times and I'm looking forward to getting going.

Q.You didn't play last week, is that right, on the PGA TOUR?
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ I did not, no.

Q.テつ Did you come over here early?
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ I came over and got to London Friday night.テつ My two sisters live down there, and couple of nieces and nephews, and we went there, my wife and I, and spent a couple of days with them.テつ It was a nice, relaxing few days, and then flew up here Monday.

Q.テつ Have you played since you came up?
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ Yeah, I played nine holes Monday and nine holes on Tuesday and the Pro‑Am today.テつ I kind of like that, nine holes and practise the first couple of days, and then play the Pro‑Am and feel like I'm ready to go tomorrow.

Q.テつ Fair to say over the last few weeks you've been quite relaxed about getting into The Open one way or the other.
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ I felt like I would get in, but I wasn't planning on it.テつ I kind of like to thin, I didn't want to plan on getting in and be disappointed if I don't.テつ I was treating it as I was coming over here for this tournament, and if I got in it was a bonus.
I was quietly confident of getting in.テつ I don't know how far down the World Rankings I was, but I was 53, 54 for a few weeks and would have been surprised if I didn't get in.テつ I packed enough clothes for two weeks, let's just say that.

Q.テつ Aside from the wonderful weather, what's the best thing about being home?
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ You know, first of all, get to see my family.テつ Like I said, went down to London to see my sister and my nieces and come up here, my mom and dad will be out here and aunt and uncle and friends, and that's always great.
But it just feels natural coming home.テつ I feel, I wouldn't say more welcome is the right word but I feel more comfortable here and more at home.テつ It's just always fun coming back.テつ There's not one single reason that‑‑ as I said, it feels great to get back every time.

Q.テつ Inaudible.
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ To be honest, I've not turned the TV on since I've been here, but had a full Scottish breakfast this morning, and that was nice.
Just things like that, the small things.テつ Like for example, this morning, having that for breakfast, it's something that's kind of like a novelty for me now because I'm not here very much.
Yeah, it's just good to be back here, hear lots of Scottish voices and when we get going here, people shouting for me and rooting me on which is something I don't hear as much in America.
GORDON SIMPSON:テつ Have you had fried haggis and stuff like that?
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ I've had it all, yeah, I've had it all.テつ These trousers, were a little tight this morning, but I definitely put on a little bit of weight over these two weeks enjoying all the food I don't get when I'm in America.

Q.テつ Some players build their seasons around the Majors to peak for them; how do you approach it?テつ Are you comfortable enough to go for these big ones and do something different?
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ Yeah, I've not really played too much over the last month.テつ After the U.S. Open, I've kind of had a week off, play a week, a week off, play a week.テつ I didn't want to be playing too much and not be ready to go and fatigued at all coming into this.テつ This tournament for me, it's just as important as next week, and I wanted to be fresh for this week and next week.
I didn't take two or three weeks off or anything, so my game still seemed sharp and I didn't want to play three in a row coming in here.
So this is a big stretch of the season for me starting here; here, then The Open and I go back and have a WGC event and the US PGA.テつ So I have two Majors in my next four events, and this one, as well; this is kind of like my fifth major.
I've deliberately been building my schedule for the last month so I'm ready for this six‑week stretch.

Q.テつ I think I'm right in saying Brook Koepka is the same management company as you; are you asking him for advice over here?
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ I know, he won one in Scotland.テつ I just met him this week, same agent as me, pleased for him.テつ Obviously great player and playing well this year and I know how excited he is about this week and next week.
Yeah, he's got to be one of the hottest players in this field even though he's not been playing The European Tour.テつ To win three times as quickly as he did this year, he's played some great golf.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
MARTIN LAIRD:テつ Yeah, I don't know the reason why he came over here but it's obviously worked very well for him.テつ Sometimes people just feelmore comfortable; he might feel more comfortable over here than he does in the States.テつ I felt more comfortable out when I was coming out of college going to the States than maybe coming back here.テつ It's impressive to come over at his age, to come out and play so well right away.
GORDON SIMPSON:テつ Thank you very much.テつ Have a great week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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