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Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Thursday, 22 October 2009 13:02 UK

Laird targeting Ryder Cup place

Martin Laird
Laird has set his sights on a place in Colin Montgomerie's Ryder Cup team

Fresh from his maiden PGA Tour victory, Scotland's new number one golfer Martin Laird is chasing a Ryder Cup place at Celtic Manor next year.

Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has admitted he is tracking Laird, but the points earned at the Justin Timberlake Open will not count towards his cause.

"The Ryder Cup would be the absolute pinnacle for me in golf," Laird told BBC Scotland.

"I'm going to try and do everything I can to get in it."

The US-based 26-year-old has only ever played twice in Europe so far, having been at this year's Scottish Open and Open Championship.

However, he plans to increase his visits across the Atlantic in a bid to increase his Ryder Cup chances now that his US card is secure.

"I've joined the European Tour this week as an affiliate member and if you do that you get points for the world points list," Laird explained.

"I think the top four in that automatically qualify for the team along with the top four or five from the Order of Merit."

Laird's first PGA Tour win gave him a jump of 129 places to 108th in the world to become Scotland's highest-ranked player.

Hopefully I'll kick start something and a few more guys will either come over here and win or start winning in Europe

Martin Laird

The Glaswegian hopes the win will now inspire other Scots and take the pressure off his own game.

"People have been saying to me the Ryder Cup is next year and I kind of laughed it off," said Laird. "Now all of a sudden it's straight on the radar.

"Hopefully, I'll kick start something and a few more guys will either come over here and win or start winning in Europe."

The PGA win is the defining moment of Laird's career so far and the two-year tour exemption that accompanies the victory will boost his chances of future success.

"Going into the tournament I was once again outside the top 125 and it was going to be a big week in trying to keep my card," said Laird.

"Obviously it's a huge relief that now I don't have to think about that for a couple of years and am free to play where I want when I want and I don't have to chase the money.

"It's a huge weight off my shoulders and hopefully it means I can play even better over the next year or two."

* You can hear Martin Laird's interview in full on BBC Radio Scotland's Sports Weekly from 9am, Saturday 24 October.

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see also
Laird still a Ryder Cup outsider
19 Oct 09 |  Golf
Scot Laird seals Las Vegas title
19 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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