Grant Forrest relieved not to let biggest fans down in Scottish Open
Mum Audrey, sister Alisa and girlfriend Christy Farrell were all watching on as the 28-year-old Haddington-based player comfortably made the cut in the abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.
It was three successes in three starts for Forrest in the Rolex Series event at the East Lothian venue as he followed an opening 67 with a 70 to sit handily-placed on five-under-par.
“Having some family out watching, you always want to play well and today I felt a bit more agitated when things didn’t go our way,” he admitted. “But it’s just about trying to balance expectations.”
The Scot signed for three birdies and three bogeys as he joined David Law, Richie Ramsay, Bob MacIntyre, Connor Syme and Calum Hill in progressing to the final two rounds.
“It was a bit of a battle today,” admitted Forrest, who plays and practices at The Renaissance Club. “There were some tricky pins and the course is always a bit tougher in an east wind, as we had out there.
“It makes the par-5s a bit tougher. Not 16, but the other three are all into the wind and, even if you hit a good tee shot, you can still be pushing a 3-wood to get on.
“I made a couple of sloppy mistakes and a couple of breaks didn’t go our way, but, all in all, I battled well and made a couple of good up and downs from the sand towards the end.”
World No 1 Jon Rahm, who shares the lead with Belgian Thomas Detry and Englishman Jack Senior on 11-under, admitted he’d been lucky to play half of his second round in benign conditions, but the test had stiffened up by the time Forrest teed up.
“When I was warming up, there was pretty much no wind and, if anything, it was a westerly one,” he said. “But, by the time we got to the 10th tee, our first hole, it had switched. It was definitely a trickier day than yesterday.”
Forrest tied for 19th behind Englishman Aaron Rai in last year’s event, having finished just outside the top 40 on his debut in the 2019 edition, won by Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.
He came into this event buoyed by equalling his best-ever European Tour effort when tying for fourth in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Mount Juliet last weekend and is excited about the weekend.
“It is good to have continued the form from last week, having felt I had turned a bit of a corner a few weeks ago with my game,” he said. I feel a bit more confident and a bit more optimistic about it.
“In a field this strong, I’m not in a bad position and, if we have a good weekend, we’ll see what happens.”
Law is the leading home player at the halfway stage, sitting just three shots off the lead after opening with two 67s for eight-under.
Scottish No 1 MacIntyre picked up three birdies in his last six holes to lie alongside Forrest on five-under, one better than both Ramsay and Syme and three ahead of Hill.