April 9 2011
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM Managing Editor
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Martin Laird came into this week with one of the hottest hands on the PGA TOUR. He's definitely heating up at Augusta National.
Laird carded his second consecutive 3-under 69 and will enter Sunday's final round at 4 under for the tournament. Not bad for the Masters rookie.
Although he'll probably have too much of a hill to climb Sunday (depending on how the leaders play the rest of Saturday, of course), he at least should have a fighting chance. He left the 18th green Saturday in a tie for 12th.
If nothing else, he has plenty of momentum.
"If I keep shooting in the 60s, I'll keep going the correct way up the leaderboard," Laird said. "Obviously pleased with shooting 3 under, but obviously a little frustrated that it wasn't lower today."
Laird's last start prior to coming to the Masters was a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. He had two other top-10 finishes before that. He's currently in fifth place in FedExCup points.
Laird nearly aced the par-3 16th. Instead, he settled for an easy birdie, his fourth of the day.
"It was a perfect number," Laird said. "I hit 8 iron and I knew that to get it there I had to just smash it and I hit it as good as I could. And it's a nice pin to know you can't hit it over, so it let me go for it."