Grant Forrest makes Dunhill Links cut on pro debut

Grant Forrest is through to the final round of the �4m Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after a six-under-par 66 at St Andrews. Picture: Getty Images
Grant Forrest is through to the final round of the �4m Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after a six-under-par 66 at St Andrews. Picture: Getty Images
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Grant Forrest joked he’s “no longer unemployed” after making the cut on his professional debut in the £4 million Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

The 23-year-old comfortably made it into Sunday’s final round after carding a six-under-par 66 at St Andrews on the third day of the star-studded pro-am event.

After earlier scores of 73 and 72 at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns respectively, the excellent effort on the Old Course lifted Forrest into a share of 31st on five-under-par.

“I was trying not to think about it, but I’m delighted that I managed to get the job done today by making the cut,” admitted the 2014 St Andrews Links Trophy winner.

“Carnoustie was a bit of a grind while I made a few silly mistakes at Kingsbarns, but I played very well today.

“I’m no longer unemployed and, with a big purse on offer here, I am hoping for something similar tomorrow.”

Beginning at the 10th on a benign day in the Home of Golf, Forrest got off to a great start with three birdies in his first four holes.

He dropped a shot at the 17th - not a disaster by an means - before rolling in a 30-foot birdie putt at the 18th then following that with a couple of 20 footers at the first and second.

The latter was for a crucial par save and he then birdied both the long fifth and ninth to round off a great day’s work.

“The fact there was no wind as I started my round on the back nine was a big help,” admitted the former Scottish Amateur champion.

“That meant some of the difficult holes were actually birdie chances and that certainly made a difference.”

Forrest, who is playing in the event on a sponsor’s invitation, said his preparation for this week had been helped by securing starts as an amateur on the Challenge Tour earlier this year.

“I’ve played five events on the Challenge Tour and there’s no doubt that has been a big help,” he admitted.

“I had a couple of wobbles out there but managed to steady the ship and hopefully my putter can stay warm for tomorrow.”

Forrest joined Marc Warren (11-under), Craig Lee (five-under), David Drysdale (four-under) and Stephen Gallacher (three-under) in making it to the final round.

Ewen Ferguson, the other rookie Scottish pro who was also making his European Tour debut, fell short by five shots on two-over.