US Open: Lack of practice let Martin Laird down

Martin Laird admits that a lack of practice was his downfall as he and fellow Scotsman Stephen Gallacher missed the US Open cut by a stroke.

Both followed opening rounds of 73 with disappointing 74s for five-under-par totals at Congressional.

And Laird told BBC Scotland: "I'm very disappointed. You can't turn up at a US Open without practising.

"And, for three or four weeks away from tournaments, I've not really hit a ball."

The 28-year-old had only failed to make three cuts in 14 tournaments in 2011 and won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, had one third-place finish, was in the top 10 six times and finished in the top 25 nine times.

Those results left him 24th in the world rankings and with high hopes of doing well at the US Open.

His lack of action before one of golf's majors was because of a family birthday in Europe.

"To be honest, I've not really practised in the last month, with lots of off-the-course commitments, which have been great too," he said.

"I missed the cut at Memorial, so I hadn't played since Friday the previous week.

"Then I only hit balls for 45 minutes on Thursday - that was all I had done until I came here on Monday.

"I was hitting it okay at the start of the week and I have started to hit it worse as the week has gone on when you are hoping to go the other way.

"I am very disappointed. I feel like this golf course does suit me, but if you are not hitting your irons good round here, it is just going to get you."

Stephen Gallacher strikes out at Congressional
Gallacher found scoring difficult in his first two US Open rounds

Glasgow-born Laird is looking forward to returning to his homeland next month.

"I am going to go and work hard in the next couple of weeks before I come back for the Scottish Open and the Open and get it sorted out," he said.

"I am looking forward to that obviously. I'm glad I've got a couple of weeks until then to get it sorted out.

"My coach and I are going to get together next week and work hard.

"I've got a tournament next week and then I have a week off before heading for the Scottish.

"Playing in front of the home crowds is always special. It is pretty much my favourite tournament of the year.

"To come back and see friends and family and get to play in front of a home crowd - it doesn't really get any better.

"I am looking forward to that and then heading down to Sandwich for the Open and another major."