Sandy Scott has competition from other members of his sporting family this week, even though the 19-year-old is testing himself against some of the best golfers in the world in Ayrshire.
Under normal circumstances, the Nairn amateur, pictured, would have had the entire Scott clan supporting him in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, having earned his spot in the Dundonald Links line-up via last weekend’s qualifier.
But his two sisters have their own things going on at the moment – one is in the Scottish swimming set-up and the other is inter-railing across Europe – while his younger brother, Calum, is chasing golfing glory himself in the Scottish Under-16s event at Fairmont St Andrews.
“I think we are all across Scotland right now and, in the case of one of my sisters, even further afield,” said Scott, smiling, after preparing for his first taste of a professional event by playing practice rounds with the likes of Richie Ramsay, Jamie Donaldson, Graeme Storm and Brett Rumford.
“It was cool to see how similar it is to the amateur game,” added the Texas Tech player. “I had this perception that it would be totally different, but they are all human. Everyone is amateur at one point, and they have all got to this level at some point. It’s great for me seeing that it is possible to do.”
Paul O’Hara, another of the four qualifiers, is in the form of his life for his first European Tour event, having won the Northern Open and PGA Pros Championship in quick succession last month.
“This week is a massive opportunity as you don’t have many chances to play in a big tournament like this, so I want to make the most of it,” said O’Hara, who has his older brother, Steven, on the bag in a role reversal from when he held a European Tour card for a spell.
A 12-strong home contingent also includes Scott Jamieson, who is hoping to use this event to secure an Open spot for a third time in seven years. “I played well last week [in Ireland], so I have a chance to nick one of them this week,” he said.