Colorado resident Martin Laird posts best PGA Tour finish since 2020 as he places distant 2nd in 3M Open
By Gary Baines – 7/30/2023
Martin Laird didn’t win a golf tournament on Sunday. In fact, the Denver-area resident didn’t get particularly close to being victorious.
But even though the 40-year-old former Colorado State University golfer finished a whopping seven strokes behind champion Lee Hodges on Sunday at the 3M Open in Blaine, Minn., he also tied for second place.
That’s Laird’s best showing on the PGA Tour since his fourth and last victory, the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October 2020.
In fact, it’s Laird’s first top-10 in over a year.
At the 3M, Laird went 68-68-67-64 for a 17-under-par total. He eagled his final hole on Sunday and played his last eight in 6 under par, earning $590,200.
“I’m obviously very happy with how I played this week,” Laird said. “I hit it really nice all four days, didn’t really make many putts the first two rounds, and then of course the last two rounds, the hole looked pretty big to me, which is always nice as a golfer. So that was fun to see.
“This year’s been a struggle. I’ve been trending in the right direction for the last few months. It was pretty bad to start. I had an injury in the winter and started the season it. You can kind of get yourself in a hole when you do that and my swing kind of changed because of it. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have played the first couple months of the season, but did.
“I’ve kind of been trying to get my game back from there, because I finished last season pretty strongly. In October, November I was playing nicely and then came back in the winter and really struggled. So it’s been a tough year. It’s been a battle. You know, in this game when you’re struggling, it seems like a long way to get back to where you know you can be. So I’m obviously very happy with this week.”
— Elsewhere for Locals on Tour: Colorado native Jennifer Kupcho posted her best finish so far in a 2023 LPGA major on Sunday, tying for 14th place in the Amundi Evian Championship in France. Kupcho, who won a major last year (the Chevron Championship), went 68-75-71-66 for a 4-under-par total, which left her 10 strokes behind champion Celine Boutier. Kupcho, who went bogey-free on Sunday, earned $95,922. SCORES … Matthew Liringis, who grew up in Fort Collins, tied for sixth place on Sunday in PGA Tour Canada’s Osprey Valley Open at TPC Toronto. Liringis carded scores of 65-68-68-70 and ended up six strokes back of winner Davis Shore. It’s by far Liringis’ best showing ever on PGA Tour Canada. SCORES
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com