The Open 2014

13th-20th July

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The Open: Home comforts help keep Martin Laird in contention on day two

Last Updated: 19/07/13 3:17pm

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Martin Laird: Five birdies, but five bogeys in second-round 71

Martin Laird: Five birdies, but five bogeys in second-round 71

Martin Laird is counting on the support of his home fans over the weekend after he remained in touch with the lead at the halfway stage of the Open Championship.

The big-hitting Scot, who missed the cut in his first three Open appearances and tied for 72nd last year, added an erratic level-par 71 to his opening 70 to stay at one under for the tournament.

"I think it will help me more than hurt me," said the 30-year-old. "I probably have higher expectations for myself than everyone in the crowd. It's not something I'm really worried about.

"You can only look at it as something that can help you. They can pull you along. Even as I was struggling, you hear people shouting 'Come on' and giving you support, and that's only a good thing."

Laird recovered from dropped shots at the second, sixth and seventh with four birdies in a row from the ninth, but further bogeys at 14 and 17 undid his excellent mid-round work.

"You can only look at it as something that can help you. They can pull you along. Even as I was struggling, you hear people shouting 'Come on' and giving you support, and that's only a good thing."
Martin Laird

"Overall I didn't really play that well today," admitted Laird, who carded a final-round of 63 to win the Valero Texas Open ahead of Rory McIlroy earlier this year.

Hot stretch

"So shooting even par shows my game is in a good spot, because I really didn't hit a good golf shot until the seventh or eighth hole today. I struggled coming out. I had a nice little hot stretch there in the middle and I held it together coming in."

Tournament officials admitted they had used "a bit more" water on the greens overnight following complaints about the pace of the putting surfaces on the first day, but a change in wind direction caused problems on the inward half.

"Everyone thinks 14 and 15 downwind is going to be easy," Laird added. "I think it's harder right now because you can hardly hit the greens. 16 and 17 is a tough finish. The last four or five holes are really hard.

"The greens were noticeably different. At number two I had about 20 feet and left it four or five feet short. It wasn't like a foot slower, it was two or three feet slower. But I think they had to do that, otherwise they'd be unplayable late in the day."

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