The Scotsman sinks a 20-foot birdie putt on the 2nd playoff hole to win in Las Vegas for his 4th career title and 1st since early 2013
7½: Number of years since Martin Laird had won on the PGA Tour as the Scotsman rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole Sunday to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. Laird, 37, who needed a sponsor exemption to land a tournament berth, had tied Americans Austin Cook and Matthew Wolff at 23-under 261 through 72 holes at TPC Summerlin, forcing a playoff. “This might be the best one, just because it’s been a while,” said Laird, who earned his fourth victory on the PGA Tour but his first since April 7, 2013, at the Valero Texas Open. Laird pulled off a couple of spectacular recovery shots in the final round. Faced with a buried lie under the lip of a greenside bunker at the par-5 ninth hole, he blasted the shot and then watched it trickle into the hole about 20 feet away for eagle. Later, after having missed the par-3 17th green wide right with a 7-iron, he punched through trees and onto the green before rolling in an 18-footer for par. With those theatrics, Laird needed only a par on the final hole to win, but he made a bogey 5 at the par-4 18th for a 3-under 68. After the three co-leaders matched pars in a replay of the 18th, Laird watched his competitors slide their birdie attempts past the hole at the 17th before he sank the winning putt. “My touch on the greens was really good today,” Laird said. “I’ve been working on not thinking so much on the greens and relying on my feel.” Laird earned $1.26 million from the $7 million purse (scores).
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