New card holder Grant Forrest chalks up more Race to Dubai points

Grant Forrest made the cut. Picture: SNS
Grant Forrest made the cut. Picture: SNS
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Grant Forrest, one of Scotland’s four new European Tour card holders, made it two cuts in two events at the start of the 2019 season as he joined compatriot David Drysdale in making it through to the weekend in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

As Drysdale recovered from a nightmare start to his second round to retain a spot inside the top 25, Forrest ensured he will be picking up more valuable Race to Dubai points after continuing to look at home in his new workplace.

Having opened with a two-under 70 at Anahita, the 25-year-old from North Berwick started his second circuit with a bogey at the tenth before making an eagle-3 at the 18th then following that with birdies at the second and fourth.

On five-under, he was alongside Drysdale and, though a double-bogey 6 at the seventh undid some of that good work, Forrest signed off with a birdie for a 71 and a three-under total, making the cut with a shot to spare.

Drysdale began the day handily-placed on three-under but blocked tee shots at the opening three holes saw him start bogey-double bogey-bogey.

The 43-year-old from Cockburnspath spoke about how staying patient had helped him start the new campaign by finishing fifth in the Hong Kong Open and stopping himself from getting frustrated or angry paid dividends once again.

Digging in, Drysdale covered the remaining holes in six-under-par – the pick of six birdies was a 3-iron to three feet at the eighth – to salvage a 70, which left him joint-25th.

As American Kurt Kitayama, a Qualifying School graduate, swept into the lead on 14-under after a 65, South Africa-based Scot Doug McGuigan made an early exit along with Liam Johnston, another of the newcomers.

Also on the European Tour, Craig Ross made the cut on his pro debut on the circuit after carding rounds of 71-72 for a one-under halfway total in the Australian RACV Royal Pines Resort.

The efforts left Ross, the only Scot out of a five-strong contingent to be left standing, in joint-21st as defending champion and home favourite Cam Smith moved into the lead on nine-under.

On the Staysure Tour, Gary Orr sits six shots off the lead, held jointly by England’s Paul Streeter and Rafael Gomez of Argentina, heading into the final round of the Costa Blanca Benidorm Senior Masters.

Orr, winner of his last two events, had a double-bogey 6 in his second-day 70, which left him a shot ahead of both Andrew Oldcorn (69) and Gordon Brand jnr (70) in a share of 14th.