GRANT Forrest, the current Scottish Amateur champion, has landed his biggest victory since he started on a scholarship at the University of San Diego around 18 months ago.
It came in the West Coast Conference Championships at Bremerton in Washington, where the 19-year-old claimed the individual medallist honours with a six-under-par total of 210.
Forrest, who lifted the Scottish title at Royal Dornoch last summer, closed with a three-under-par 68 on the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain to win by four shots from James Fahy of Gonzaga.
The Craigielaw player, a sophomore at USD, is the fourth “Toreros” player to win the WCC individual title outright.
“It feels great since this is the last event before regionals and nationals,” said Forrest, last year’s WCC Freshman of the Year. “I’ve come close a few times this year, a couple of runner-up finishes, so it was good to finish off the job today. It’s obviously a great honour. We play against a lot of these guys throughout the year and this is the first time I’ve come out on top. It definitely is a good feeling.”
Forrest was signed up for USD by Tim Mickelson, Phil’s brother, before he moved on to be the head men’s golf coach at Arizona State University.
“We are very excited that Grant will be joining the USD golf family,” said Mickelson at the time. “Grant is a very accomplished player who will make an immediate impact for us.
“He has already proven his talents on the course and he is also a true gentleman. From the time I met him on his official visit, I knew Grant would be an excellent fit at USD. He is also an excellent student who takes pride in his academics. We could not be more excited to embrace him into our programme.”
Forrest certainly hasn’t let Mickelson down, the teenager’s win at Royal Dornoch last August – his 9 and 7 triumph over Richard Docherty was the biggest since Colin Montgomerie’s victory at Nairn 25 years earlier – having been his third national title triumph after winning the Scottish Under-16s in 2009 then, less than a year later, the Scottish Boys.
He is also now Scotland’s highest-ranked amateur after climbing to 93rd in the WAGR standings.