Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TPC Summerlin

Martin Laird

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome our 2020 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open champion, Martin Laird into your virtual media center, a two-time winner here at TPC Summerlin now.

Martin, congratulations. I know it's been a long road for you to get back here. Just get some comments.

MARTIN LAIRD: Yeah, you know, obviously I'm unbelievably excited to have pulled that off today. It's been a while since my last one, and you have some doubts at times whether you're going to get another one.

I just played so well all week this week tee to green; was probably the best I ever played. Just felt in control really all week. To see that putt go in on that hole, I mean, it was pretty special.

THE MODERATOR: And to get the win so early in the season, just talk a little about how this sets you up now and really how your goals change.

MARTIN LAIRD: Yeah, you know, not really had time to think about that, but obviously now can kind of pick and choose where I want to play. I wasn't able to do that after missing last year, so I can sit down now and plan my year.

When you win early in the season all of sudden I've got all this year and the next couple to enjoy. I'm not getting any younger, so I'm really happy to win obviously and be able to plan these next few years.

THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up to questions.

Q. Congratulations, mate.

MARTIN LAIRD: Thank you.

Q. Can you just to talk I guess some semblance of redemption... (regarding 17 in regulation.)?

MARTIN LAIRD: Yeah, you know, it's not like I (indiscernible) back in 20 and I lost it; unbelievable golf shot. But I said back to my friend who was caddying for me when I won, that hole owed me one a little bit.

To make that putt on 17 honestly was huge in regulation, and then to roll that putt in there to close it out, I mean, obviously it's pretty special.

Q. The shot on 9, looked like you were dead and buried and you hole-out. Did you expect that?

MARTIN LAIRD: You know, obviously I wasn't planning on holing it, but it was lying so badly right under the lip that I said to my friend, Sometimes when they're that bad it almost helped me because was it a tight pin. It doesn't matter how hard you hit it. They just kind of pop out and go nowhere.

So I was hopefully of getting that inside maybe ten feet if it came out pretty good. I hit it hard as I could. Obviously all the sand exploded and I couldn't see anything, and I managed to open my eyes up as the ball landed and it started tracking. I mean, I enjoyed being down to the level of the bunker and watching that one go in. I'm not going to lie.

Q. Well done, Martin.


Q. Two questions for you. Firstly, the tee shot on 17 in the playoff, what was the difference in stepping up over that shot in the playoff compared with regulation when you sent it out a little bit to the right?

MARTIN LAIRD: There was no wind. The wind completely died. When we played in regulation it was blowing hard and off the left. You know, I really have only been hitting one shot all week, a cut, and just starting it left if the wind is off the left.

Well, that's not really a hole you want to start it left. I would've had to start it in the water. I was trying to just start it just left of the pin, kind of left center of the green and hit a straight one, and just kind of leant on it a little bit and cut up into the air and the wind ate it up.

Then when we came around in regulation or in the playoff there was no wind, so I could aim just five yards left of the pin and hit my standard cut shot there and not worry about it disappearing right.

Q. Pretty good recovery, by the way.

MARTIN LAIRD: Thanks. That was one my better ever up and downs.

Q. Secondly, you spoke yesterday about the meniscus on your left knee.

MARTIN LAIRD: Left knee, correct.

Q. Could you have imagined as you had to take time off as golf is restarting that by this point you would be a winner again?

MARTIN LAIRD: No, I mean, obviously coming back I've been conscious -- made a conscious effort to be patient. Sometimes you come back and just want to be playing great right away. I knew it would be a process. Every week I've been trending, every week I've played I felt like I played a little better, got a little sharper.

Putting has been getting a little better. I knew it was trending the right direction and I was coming to a course I love. But obviously I wasn't getting ahead of myself thinking I was going to come back and win as soon as I did.

Just makes it that much sweeter.

Q. I want to ask you about hole No. 9. Not just today, but nor the week. You played it 7-under for the week. Is there something about the hole that just suits your eye? Is there a little luck involved for you? Just your general thoughts on that hole.

MARTIN LAIRD: Yeah, the hole sets up good for me. I've cut it, so the tee shot and the second shot set up really nice for my eye. I can just kind of just fade it off the left bunker on the tee shot. That green sets up for a fade coming in for me. It kind of sits front left to back right.

You know, on the Thursday -- or Friday, sorry -- I hit a great shot in there close and then made a huge putt yesterday for eagle. To see that go in today, I mean, yesterday and today were bonuses, but that's what it takes to win out here. You need stuff like that to happen and go your way. The standard is so high now. It's pretty much you look back and most guys that win something like that happens on a hole or something.

It's a lot of fun to look back and see that I played that hole 7-under.

Q. At what point -- you barely got your card two seasons ago. Couple Top 10s at the end, 121st, and then it kind of carries over. I didn't realize you would've dropped enough in the category to need an exemption this week. Did that surprise you?

MARTIN LAIRD: No, didn't surprise me. You know, after not playing because of my surgery last year I went into that kind of new category that's after the fully exempt guys. I was way down in that category because I didn't play last year.

So this is such a great tournament. Really is. I knew with the TOUR being in town here in Vegas for a couple weeks it was going to be a strong field. I figured I would struggle to get in, and like I said I was so grateful to get a spot and come here and have a chance to play. Obviously to come away with the win makes it even more special.

Q. When was the last time you asked for and received a sponsor's exemption?

MARTIN LAIRD: Bay Hill maybe couple years ago I his was the last one. So, yeah.

Q. What about a full TOUR event?

MARTIN LAIRD: I think might have been my first.

Q. Back when you had a fully Scottish accent, right?

MARTIN LAIRD: (Laughter.)

Q. You've had some big wins on TOUR now, twice winning there, the Arnold Palmer event mand also the Texas Open. Where will this rank, do you think?

MARTIN LAIRD: I don't know right now, but I think when I sit back and think about it, this one might go right to the top just because it's been a while. I had a bunch of life changes since my last win. Now I've got a couple kids who kept asking men when I was going to win the trophy. They would see the ones that I previously won and they weren't born when I won them, so they kept asking, Daddy, when are you going to win a trophy?

It's going to be nice to take a trophy home for them this time.

Q. How nice is it going to be -- and if things do change in the bigger picture -- how nice will it be to take the family to Augusta next April?

MARTIN LAIRD: Yeah, I mean, obviously there is a lot of the doors open with the win, and that's one of the nice perks. You know, yeah, I'm going to enjoy them all and that'll definitely be one of them.

Q. Well done.

MARTIN LAIRD: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Okay, do we have any additional questions for Martin? Martin, congratulations once again. Welcome back to the winner's circle on the PGA TOUR.

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