Scottish Open: David Law, Connor Syme, Richie Ramsay and Grant Forrest off to strong starts

David Law doesn’t need to be reminded that he’s developed a trend of starting well in tournaments only to see his game tail off when they reach the business end.

Grant Forrest tees off on the 15th hole in the first round of the abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
Grant Forrest tees off on the 15th hole in the first round of the abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

“I’ve been a pro for 10 years and I’m learning all the time and I definitely see a regression in technique,” admitted the Aberdonian of why that has been the case.

Law was speaking after signing for a four-under-par 67 at The Renaissance Club in the opening round of the abrdn Scottish Open to sit alongside compatriots Connor Syme Richie Ramsay and Grant Forrest.

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It was solid day’s work from both the Scots, with Law hoping this is the week he can finally string four good rounds together as he bids to add to a breakthrough European Tour win in the 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open.

David Law carded five birdies and one bogey as he opened with a 68 in the abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Patrick Bolger/Getty Images.

“When you look at my rounds in isolation, I’m still shooting four or five-under rounds,” said the 30-year-old. “But it’s frustrating not having that for the full tournament.

“There’s enough positive stuff there, though, to know it’s not far away. I’m realistic and I am not one of those guys who says it’s close if it’s not.

“I have had Alan McCloskey down and we got some good work done. It’s about maintaining my technique and we are doing stuff to try to improve that side of my game to make it better so I’m excited for the rest of the week.

“I felt I had to putt better this week and me and Alan have worked hard on that as well as my long game and that has improved while the putting is miles better than last week.”

Connor Syme also made a promising start in the Rolex Series event in East Lothian. Picture: Patrick Bolger/Getty Images.

Syme, who also had a good day on the greens, made his score with a burst of four birdies in five holes on his front nine before hitting one of the shots of the day to set up a 3 at the tough par-4 second.

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More of the same and he could be in with a chance of securing one of the three spots up for grabs in next week’s 145th Open, but the 25-year-old is not getting ahead of himself.

“It would be amazing, I’ve played a couple and I know how special it is to play them,” he said, having qualified as an amateur at Royal Birkdale in 2017 then as a pro at Royal Portrush two years later. “But there’s a lot of golf to be played.

“This is like a major, the Scottish Open, in terms of us lads. It’s a chance to play in a Rolex Series event. If The Open comes along, great. I’d love to play, but we’ll see what happens.”

Syme, who shot a 62 at Gullane in the second round of this event in 2018, is enjoying having Broughty Ferry-based Ryan McGuigan caddying for him in his third full season on the European Tour.

“A lot of experience,” said Syme of what he’d brought to the bag. “He’s won plenty of tournaments in his time, he’s handed a guy a golf club that’s won the tournament. It’s hard to find that.

“But I’m loving working with him, we get on really well and it’s a nice partnership that should go from strength to strength.”

Late in the day, Ramsay and Forrest both signed for six-birdie efforts as they also produced strong starts in front of the home fans.

“It was very solid,” said Ramsay of his day’s work. “I drove the ball very well, which obviously you need to put yourself in the fairway and you can go at a few pins and have that control.

“We were blessed with obviously fantastic weather today and not much wind. But, all in all, I was really happy with my game.

“It was steady. I picked my shots well. I was pretty good on the greens, which keeps momentum going when you're trying to shoot a good score.”

Forrest also took up where he’d left off when finishing alongside Ramsay in a tie for fourth in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Mount Juliet last weekend.

“We got weird conditions today as there was pretty much no wind the last nine holes,” he said. “It was a little bit up-and-down at times. Nice to hole a few and played the par 5s well.”

The Haddington-based player said of playing in front of fans for the first time in Scotland since October 2019: “It's great. Got my mum, sister, my girlfriend here and they have not been able to watch me play golf for a year and a half.

“I'm sure I had them on their toes most of the day, but, all in all, I was happy with the day.”

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