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Page last updated at 06:45 GMT, Monday, 19 October 2009 07:45 UK

Scot Laird seals Las Vegas title

FINAL LEADERBOARD (US unless stated):
-19 M Laird (Sco) [winner following three-man play-off], G MacNeill, C Campbell -18 J Klauk, J Furyk -17 C Hoffman


Justin Timberlake presents Martin Laird with the trophy
Laird (right) earned a two-year tour exemption after his victory

Martin Laird clinched his maiden PGA Tour win at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

The Scot, 26, carded a final-round 68 in Las Vegas to finish on 19 under par and move into a three-man play-off with George McNeill and Chad Campbell.

Campbell was eliminated when he missed a par putt at the second play-off hole.

And a poor approach by McNeill at the next cost him a bogey, allowing Laird two putts for par from 11 feet to pocket the £462,000 winner's cheque.

Laird is the first Scot to win in the USA since Sandy Lyle's Masters triumph at Augusta 21 years ago.

"The most nervous I was was the first few holes starting out, and then coming in there I was amazed how calm I was coming down the stretch," said the Glaswegian, who also earned a two-year tour exemption after jumping from 134th to 62nd in the US money list.

606: DEBATE

During the final round, Laird took the lead from Campbell and three-time winner Jim Furyk with a birdie on the par-five ninth and then parred the next six holes before a birdie at 16 took him to 20 under. But he dropped a shot at the next and had to settle for a place in the play-off.

All three players then parred the 18th, the opening play-off hole, before Campbell bowed out at the 17th where McNeill had a chance of victory, only to miss a birdie putt from 20-feet.

McNeill and Laird then returned to the 18th and after narrowly missing water with his second shot, the American could do no better than a five, allowing Laird to become the sixth first-time winner at the TPC Summerlin course in the last six years.

"When I got into the play-off I was surprised; I kind of chilled out a little. I was pretty nervous the last two or three holes in regulation, and once I got there in the play-off I kind of relaxed a little more," Laird added.

Compatriot Colin Montgomerie won the Accenture world match play title before it came an official World Golf Championships event and took the individual title at the 1997 World Cup.

But the present Ryder Cup captain, Europe's eight-time number one, has not managed a US PGA Tour title in 17 years of trying, losing play-offs for the US Open and US PGA and having two other second places in the US Open.

Montgomerie congratulated Laird on what he described as "a fantastic win", adding: "I am delighted for him.

"His win is a great boost for Scottish golf after a slightly lean period and it is always good for European golf to have winners on the US PGA Tour.

"He has certainly made himself one to watch over the coming months."



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see also
Westwood secures Portugal victory
18 Oct 09 |  Golf
Tour Championship leaderboard
07 Sep 09 |  Live scores
Scot Laird impresses on US Tour
10 Aug 09 |  Golf
Laird and Love secure Open spots
26 May 09 |  Golf


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