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Refreshed and ready to go, inspired by European success

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Martin Laird | 12:58 UK time, Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Congratulations have to go out to Graeme McDowell for his fantastic performance last week at Pebble Beach.

He played brilliantly on Sunday and managed to survive longer than everyone else on a course that was taking chunks out of the top players in the world right from the start.

There are times when I watch golf on TV and think it looks fun and wish I was there. Last Sunday at Pebble Beach was not one of those days; it looked brutal!

A few of the hole set-ups looked a little questionable (17 in particular, with only seven players hitting the green on Sunday) but, overall, it seemed like the course was superb with good shots being rewarded and bad ones being severely punished.

It's always great to see Europeans doing well over here, especially when they are Brits, and seeing three wins in a row on the PGA Tour is very encouraging in a Ryder Cup year.

I just wish there were more saltires being seen at the top of the leaderboards. Hopefully I'll get one up there in the near future!

lairdbunker595.jpgI am currently in Hartford, Connecticut, for this week's tour event, The Travelers Championship.

I had a couple of weeks off which was really nice as I actually took them off. Usually when I have a two-week break I will probably take three days away from practicing before getting back into it.

This is partly due to the fear that if I take a longer break I may take way too long to get back into it; that my swing might leave me if I don't play or practice.

It sounds a little insecure I know, but I feel like for every day I take off I need to practice two days to get it back. I wish I was more relaxed and could be comfortable taking more time off mid-season but I also believe that is one of the reasons I am where I am right now.

However, due to a niggling rib injury that I picked up on the week of The Memorial, I didn't touch a club for 11 days. Definitely the longest break I have ever had mid-season; and it was great.

I am not sure exactly what I did to hurt myself but I think I may have pulled something lifting my luggage. It seemed to get better as the week went on until Thursday late in my round when I took a big hack out of some thick, wet rough.

I woke up on Friday and thought I was going to have to withdraw. So the doctor told me to rest it for a while just to make sure it didn't flare up again.

I have been pretty lucky over my relatively short career in that I have not had to deal with any serious injuries, so I have never been stuck at home wondering what to do with myself.

I am a bit of a grinder normally, so being forced to spend some extra time on the sofa was maybe a benefit in the long run as I have a big few months of competitions coming up.

I am definitely refreshed, if a bit rusty, and I am excited to get back into a tournament again this week. It's also a lot easier to take some time off when there are World Cup games on all day!

After this week I am heading back home for a week to see the family before playing at Loch Lomond and then St Andrews.

Then I head back over to the US to play in the new Greenbrier Classic, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship.

All of that takes me up to the FedEx Cup, where I will hopefully progress through to the Tour Championship.

It's a massive sequence of big tournaments and I feel like this rest period will be of benefit when I am coming to the end of that run. There is nothing worse as a player when you feel burnt out and don't even really want to be at an event.

Hopefully I can shake the rust off this week and have a nice tournament to give me confidence for heading back to Scotland.

The Scottish Open and The Open is my dream two weeks and I'd love to play well again on the bonnie banks and then have my game peaking for St Andrews.

After watching Graeme play so well last week and finish the US Open the way he did, I know it's possible. All the Brits can take a lot of confidence from his performance and hopefully we can look forward to a great week around the Old Course.


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