Golf: Gleneagles outing is just reward for amateur champ

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CRAIGIELAW’S Grant Forrest will cap the best month of his golfing life at Gleneagles this week after earning an invitation to play in the Johnnie Walker Championship.

It’s a reward for winning the Scottish Amateur Championship just over a fortnight ago, since when the 19-year-old has also helped Scotland to victory in the Home Internationals.

The £1.4 million tournament is the final counting event for Europe’s Ryder Cup team and Forrest will be rubbing shoulders with a host of stars boasting over 300 European Tour titles between them.

“This will be my first appearance in a pro event, so it will be a good experience,” admitted Forrest. “I won’t be going into the tournament with any expectations, so I will just go there and enjoy it.

“I’ve played the PGA Centenary Course just once before and it’s more an American-style course to the ones I’ve been used to recently.”

Forrest will be joined in Perthshire by fellow amateur ace Jack McDonald, another member of the title-winning side in last week’s Home Internationals at Glasgow Gailes.

McDonald, who made the cut in the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart earlier in the year, has also received an sponsor’s invitation.

Meanwhile, neither Forrest or Baberton’s Paul Ferrier will be in the amateur contingent for next week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Northern Open at Meldrum House.

Both were offered spots by the Scottish Golf Union in the Tartan Tour event, won last year by David Law when he was still an amateur.

But they have declined the opportunity due to the fact they are both heading to America around that time.

“I could have played in the Northern Open, but it’s the week before I go back to San Diego,” said Forrest.

Ferrier, meanwhile, was playing his last event as an amateur as he helped Scotland win the Home Internationals for the first time in six years in Ayrshire last Friday.

“I was asked if I wanted to play in the Northern Open but I’ve got a lot of things to sort out before I go back to the States,” said the 23-year-old, who is planning to play in the PGA Tour Qualifying School.