Martin Laird relishes World Cup debut for Scotland

Stephen Gallacher and Martin Laird
Laird and Gallacher are ranked 28th and 103rd in the world respectively

Martin Laird is relishing the opportunity to represent Scotland for the first time at golf's World Cup.

The world number 28 has confirmed his participation and is likely to be partnered by Stephen Gallacher, currently the next highest-ranked Scot.

"I played a practice round with him at the US Open and I got to know him really well there," said Laird.

"He is great guy and been playing well. If it does end up being me and Stephen, I think it would be a great team."

The leading 18 nations - Scotland are 11th - have qualified for the biennial event, which will take place at Mission Hills Resort, Hainan Island, China from 24-27 November.

Laird, who is getting married in Colorado on Saturday, is able to pick his playing partner and will choose the next highest-ranked Scottish player on 22 August.

That looks likely to be Gallacher, who is 103 in the rankings, but Paul Lawrie, Richie Ramsay and Scott Jamieson are respectively 35, 42 and 52 places behind.

Meanwhile, Peter Whiteford's recent good form has pushed him into the world's top 200 at 195.

"Stephen Gallacher is the only other Scot in the top 100 of the world ranking right now, so it would be me and Stephen," said 28-year-old Laird before the latest update showed his compatriot had slipped a few places.

"There are a lot of Scots playing well right now on the European Tour.

"So if someone could grab a win here or there then who knows what might happen?"

Laird would love to emulate the achievement of Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warren, who won the World Cup for Scotland by beating Heath Slocum and Boo Weekly in the 2007 final after a play-off.

"I think I'm right in saying that they lost in a play-off the year before and then they won in 2007, which was a fantastic achievement," said the United States-based Glaswegian.

"I remember sitting watching that on the television and thinking to myself, 'I want to be out there doing that for Scotland one day' and now I have the opportunity, so it is a tournament I am really looking forward to.

"I remember how much fun it was playing for my country when I was an amateur and it will be just as big a thrill to travel to China and hopefully put the Saltire at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday night."

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