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Page last updated at 11:13 GMT, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 12:13 UK

Martin Laird aims to enjoy first Masters experience

Scotland's Martin Laird
Laird goes into his first Masters high in confidence

Scotland's Martin Laird believes he can make an impact at his first Masters, as long as he enjoys himself.

"I'm going to try and have fun, try not to get too serious," the 28-year-old told BBC Radio Scotland.

"I've fallen into that habit at Majors before. I take it too seriously and spend more time practising.

"I almost get so up for it that by Thursday I end up not playing so good. You've got to try and treat it like a normal event, even though it isn't."

Laird arrives at Augusta high in confidence following his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on 27 March.

It was the US-based Glaswegian's second US Tour victory and has propelled him up to 21st in the world rankings.

"Bay Hill was one of the strongest fields you'll play all year on a tough golf course," he added. "To go out there and win it, especially with not really playing very well on Sunday, I definitely take a lot out of that.

You watch it on TV every year and you know all the holes before you get to them

Martin Laird

"It was my tournament to win. I struggled but I still managed to hold on.

"My short game has come on a lot in the last six to eight months and that is really what it's all about.

"With my putting improved and my chipping getting better, I can compete in all the big events and go into Majors feeling I can win."

Laird has never been in a Masters field before but managed to get in some early practice at the famous Augusta course.

"I went out there a couple of weeks ago and it was fantastic," he revealed. "It was great to get out there before all the mayhem of the tournament.

"I was like a little kid when I got there. I was so excited. You watch it on TV every year and you know all the holes before you get to them.

"The first hour I was there I just walked around staring at things.

"I loved the golf course. The stretch from 10 to 16 is as good a set of holes as you'll ever see.

"A lot can happen there and that's why there is always so much excitement on the Sunday.

"It's my first year and, obviously, local knowledge is huge and I have zero of that right now.

"I just want to soak it all up and have fun. If I can do that I'll have my best chance of playing well.

"And I don't see why I can't be in the mix on Sunday."

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see also
Tuesday's Masters gossip
05 Apr 11 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf
Laird and Lawrie for Scots Open
29 Mar 11 |  Golf
Laird rockets up world rankings
28 Mar 11 |  Golf
Laird battles to Bay Hill victory
27 Mar 11 |  Golf

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