Apr 132004
 
Authors: Joelle Milholm

Golfers Martin Laird and Nolan Martin have a lot in common. Both

have propelled the CSU men’s golf team to its best season in years

(four team victories and a national ranking of 29th) and

individually they are each swinging their way through very

successful senior seasons.

“They are having a great year and they are both very consistent

each week,” said CSU men’s golf head coach Jamie Bermel. “Going

into each tournament they each have a chance to win and that is

rare in collegiate golf.”

Martin, who transferred to CSU from the University of

Colorado-Colorado Springs last year, has played golf for more than

13 years. He won the Rob Moore Invitational and the Fresno “Lexus”

Classic in the fall and has seven top-10 performances out of 10

this season.

“I have more experience this year with the courses and stuff,”

Martin said. “I am fitting in a little better and sitting well with

the guys on the team.”

Martin is also sitting well in league standings and in those

around the nation. With a per-round average of 70.15, Martin ranks

first in the Mountain West Conference and 20th in the country,

according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Collegiate Poll.

Laird, the 6-foot native of Glasgow, Scotland, has played golf

since he was 5 and is in his fourth season as a Ram. He decided to

cross the Atlantic Ocean and travel thousands of miles to Fort

Collins for many reasons.

“There were a lot of factors that influenced my decision. It

wasn’t too expensive, the weather was good and I really liked the

coach,” Laird said.

During the 2001-02 season, Laird became the first men’s golfer

in CSU history to win the individual MWC title after shooting a

three-round score of 212.

This year, he is having an equally impressive season. Laird has

had six top-five finishes this season, including his first victory

of the year at the Border Olympics April 3. Laird has a per-round

average of 70.21 and is ranked 33rd in the Golfweek/Sagarin

Collegaite Poll.

“My game has gotten a little better, I am a little more

experienced and I have a little more confidence this year,” Laird

said.

On April 1, Laird and Martin became the first CSU golfers to be

named to the Ben Hogan Award watch list for their play this season.

The award is known as “the Heisman Trophy of golf” and is given to

the best collegiate golfer in the nation. The CSU golf team only

has one regular season tournament left, the BYU Cougar Classic

April 23 to 24. The team then plays in the MWC championship and

hopes to make a run at the NCAA National Championship Tournament.

Laird has his sights set high for the end of the season.

“I want to try to win the MWC again,” Laird said. “I won it my

sophomore year and then lost last year in the playoffs. My main

goal is for the team to go to nationals.”

Laird and Martin have accumulated a mutual respect for each

other that can be seen on and off the course.

“It is awesome, you can’t beat that,” Martin said of playing

with Laird. “Having two guys playing as good as we are is a lot of

fun.”

Laird has taken the opportunity of playing with Martin as a

learning experience.

“We kind of learn from each other because we are totally

different golfers,” Laird said. “It is fun to play with someone who

is on the same level.”

Though both Laird and Martin’s eligibility is up at the end of

the season, both hope to pursue professional careers as

golfers.

“I am going to go pro somewhere in the U.S. at least for a few

years and just see what happens,” said Laird, a marketing major who

graduates in May.

Martin will graduate in December of 2004.

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