Laird plays solid, looks ahead to FedEx playoffs

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RENO - Martin Laird didn't qualify for the upcoming PGA Championship, but he is going to the FedEx Cup four-week playoff. Not a bad consolation prize.

Laird drained a 5-footer for birdie on the 18th hole to secure a second-place tie at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open Sunday at Montreux Golf & Country Club.

Laird's next action will be in two weeks in Greensboro, the last regular-season stop before the PGA Tour's four-week playoffs begin. The top125 in FedEx Cup points qualify for the start of the playoffs.

"I played there (Windham Golf Club) last year and finished fourth," Laird said. "I had the first-round lead last year and then made the cut number after a 76. I beat everyone in the field for three rounds, but had one bad round.

"That (putt) was huge. The difference between tied for third and tied for sixth is a whole bunch of money and a whole bunch of FedEx points."

TOUGHEST, EASIEST HOLES: The toughest hole on Sunday was the par-4 eighth which played to a 4.397. There was just four birdies, 44 pars, 19 bogeys, four double-bogeys and two triple-bogeys or above. The second-toughest hole was No. 7, a par-3, which played to a 3.301. There were five birdies, 42 pars, 25 bogeys and one double-bogey.

The easiest hole was the par-5 17th which played to a 4.479. The hole yielded 39 birdies, 33 pars and one bogey. The second easiest hole was No. 11, a par-5. It played to a 4.507 with three eagles, 35 birdies, 31 pars, three bogeys and one double-bogey.

DEFENDING CHAMPS: Chris Riley fared the best of the five defending LRTO champions who made the cut this weekend.

Riley, who won in 2002, finished tied for 17th with an 8-under 280. Vaughn Taylor, who won in 2005 and 2006, was two strokes behind in 26th place at 6-under-par 282. Steve Flesch (2007) and Parker McLachlin (2008) finished tied for 34th at 5-under-par 283. Kirk Triplett, who won in 2003, tied for 69th with a 5-over-par 293.

CHIP SHOTS: Of the six defending champions in this year's field, only Will MacKenzie failed to advance to weekend play. MacKenzie shot rounds of 77 and 74 for 151, seven shots off the cutline. ... Carlos Franco had to play alone on Sunday, and he toured the course in 2-hours 44 minutes. He shot a 67, moving from a tied for 72nd to inside the top 50 ... First-round leader Rod Pampling, who opened with a 67, finished with a 67 for a 72-hole total of 11-under-par 277. Pampling had an eagle on the par-5 11th. He finished alone in 8th place... Nevada defeated UNLV in the in-state battle. Triplett, Rich Barcelo and Michael Allen all made the cut, while Riley was the only UNLV player to make it to the weekend. Allen was the only player over 50 to make the cut ... Marc Leishman, one of many newcomers in the event, tied for 14th among those making their LRTO debuts. Wil Collins, who played in the Dayton PGA qualifier last year, tied for 26th.


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