Using a borrowed putter, Syme ended up joint 15th after losing to Kiwi Gareth Paddison by one hole in the second Super 6 round at Lake Karrinyup in Western Australia, having earlier defeated fellow Scot Bob MacIntyre by the same margin. As another Kiwi, Ryan Fox, claimed his first European Tour victory after beating Spaniard Adrian Otaegui 3&2 in the final, Syme earned around £12,500 for his best performance on the circuit since finishing second in Shot Clock Masters last June.
The 23-year-old Drumoig-based player revealed the theft of his putter, along with a few others from the clubhouse bag store, in a post on social media along with a European Tour video of the par putt he had holed with it on Saturday to come through an 11-man play-off for the final ten spots in the knockout phase.
“If anybody has any news on where it might be, please get in touch,” wrote Syme of the Ping putter that had been custom-made for him. “Has my name on the back and initials on front.”
Syme had rolled in a monster birdie putt with the putter on the final hole in the third round to secure his spot in the play-off on Saturday and, though delighted to win against MacIntyre, it was always going to be a tough ask to keep coming out on top in the series of six-hole match-play ties with a borrowed flatstick.
“Otherwise, a successful trip down in Australia,” he added. “Good to see the hard work over the winter starting to pay off. Had a good run overall, making it to the match play. Never easy playing Bob, but disappointed to lose out in round two.”
Fox, who lost to Russell Knox in a play-off in the Irish Open last summer, went one better after producing a polished performance in both the stroke-play and match-play phases.
The 32-year-old needed three visits to the shoot-out hole to beat Thai Jazz Janewattananond before claiming one-hole triumphs over Norwegian Kristoffer Reitan and Ireland’s Paul Dunne then seeing off Otaegui in the final.
“I always enjoyed match play as an amateur,” said Fox, son of All Blacks legend Grant. “I had a pretty decent record playing for Auckland in the Inter-provincial, and I grew up playing team sports, so you just get used to trying to beat someone and I quite like that. It’s different than trying to beat the golf course.”
In Adelaide, Melrose-born Queenslander Karis Davidson finished in a tie for 29th behind American Nelly Korda in the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open at The Grange. Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew ended up five shots behind Davidson in joint 44th.
Elsewhere, newly-crowned African Amateur champion Euan Walker (71) joined James Wilson (69), Jim Johnston (70) and Jeff Wright (71) in breaking par in the first of two stroke-play qualifying rounds for the South African Amateur Championship in Cape Town.