The passing of his grandfather has forced Scottish golfer Martin Laird to withdraw from this week’s French Open.
Laird was due to make his first appearance in the event but advised officials he would not be travelling to Versailles and the National course.
Despite the sadness of teh occasion the current World No. 35 ranked Laird could be struggling now to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team.
To date, Laird has contested just five European Tour events with only one on European soil in missing the cut in last month’s BWM PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Laird rejoined the European Tour in January meaning he has to contest a dozen events to maintain his Tour card.
He is currently lying 70th on the European Points list and 22nd on the secondary World Points list.
Laird is contesting next week’s Scottish Open and the following week’s Open Championship and with starts in the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship it will mean the North Carolina based Scot will have contested nine events before the end of qualification on September 26th.
Three of the world’s top 11 ranked players in Lee Westwood (No. 3), Justin Rose (No. 9) and former U.S. Open champion, Graeme McDowell (No. 11) head the Euro 3.15m tournament.
Also teeing -up on the 2018 Ryder Cup host venue is England’s Paul Broadhurst and with the 46-year old yesterday (Tues) qualifying for the Open Championship after finishing the leading qualifier at the Old St. Annes course in Lancashire.
It will be a sentimental few weeks for Broadhurst as he captured the 1995 French Open at the National Club for the fourth of six Tour victories in his career.
Broadhurst won by a massive eight shots in posting a final round 63 for a 14-under par tally to deny fellow Englander Neal Briggs who nows works as a field officer on the European Tour.
Broadhurst will be contesting the event for an 18th occasion since his debut in 1990.
Broadhurst will also return to Royal Lytham and St. Annes where in 1988 he shared the presentation ceremony with the late, great Seve Ballesteros as the leading amateur and just months after the then 23-year old won the Lytham Trophy.
However Broadhurst, who was also a member of the 1999 European Ryder Cup team, has contested just one European Tour event this year and that was in finishing 56th in April’s Sicilian Open and this was after losing his Tour card at the end of last year.
Also competing this week is Australia’s Robert Allenby winner of the French Open a year after Broadhurst in 1996.
It will also be the Melbourne-born golfer’s first French Open showing since 2004.