Local hero Grant Forrest looking for Genesis Scottish Open 'spark'

Grant Forrest is hoping some home comforts can help him find a missing “spark” as he bids to recapture his maiden title-winning form on the DP World Tour.

Grant Forrest pictured during the recent Porsche European Open at Green Eagle Golf Course in Hamburg. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.
Grant Forrest pictured during the recent Porsche European Open at Green Eagle Golf Course in Hamburg. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.

The 29-year-old, who lives in Pencaitland, is enjoying a week in his own bed and a short commute for this week’s $8 million Genesis Scottish Open.

It’s also a home gig for Forrest in terms of the venue for the Rolex Series event as he is based at The Renaissance Club.

Helped by local knowledge, the former Scottish Amateur champion has made the cut in three previous appearances at the same venue, finishing in the top 20 two years ago.

With 14 of the world’s top-15 players in the field, he’s part of a star-studded cast on this occasion and is hoping the week can bring out the best in him.

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Forrest landed that breakthrough win on the main tour in the Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews just under a year ago, but, hindered by a hip problem, it’s been a quiet 2022 campaign for him so far.

“I’m just waiting for a wee bit of a spark this season,” he said. “I think we are all quite guilty of putting too much pressure on ourselves at times.

“Especially after you’ve had your best year so far, you expect more every year. It’s about trying to manage those expectations. A good week here can hopefully be the spark.”

With three spots on offer to non-exempt players finishing in the top 10, a big performance could get him into next week’s 150th Open at St Andrews.

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“I was delighted for David Law last week,” said Forrest of his fellow Scot getting into the season’s final major through tying for fourth in the Phoenix Irish Open.

“It just shows that if you have a good week at the right time, then all of a sudden you are off and running.”

Those big names teeing up on Scotland’s Golf Coast include the four reigning major champions - Collin Morikawa (The Open), Scottie Scheffler (The Masters), Justin Thomas (PGA Championship) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (US Open).

“It’s massive,” said Forrest of the line up. “It’s probably the strongest field this year outside the majors. It’s kind of new territory for a lot of the DP World Tour players and I’m looking forward to it, especially with it being a home event.

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“The Scottish Open has always been a big event due to it having the slot before The Open, but now being co-sanctioned it’s really encouraging all the PGA Tour players who are in The Open to be here.”

Staging the tournament for the fourth year running, some tweaks have been made to The Renaissance Club, where three-time major winner Padraig Harrington is involved in a consultancy capacity, over the past 12 months.

“It’s my home track,” said Forrest. “I’ve been playing it a lot recently and the course is looking great - it’s the best it’s been, I’d say.

“They’ve put in new bunkers on the first and fourth and also changed the fairway on the tenth. They are pretty subtle changes, but they definitely make you think more about those holes.”

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