Grant Forrest is relishing the prospect of being part of one of the strongest line-ups in European Tour history - in just his sixth event as a card holder.
The inaugural Saudi International has attracted four of the world’s top five players, namely Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.
The line-up at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City also includes Masters champion Patrick Reed, as well as Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter.
“You definitely dream of being in a field like this when you are in the amateur ranks,” Forrest told the Edinburgh Evening News. “It’s great to have four of the world’s top five in the field here and it’s great to be part of it.
“Of course you keep a bit of an eye on what those guys are doing because they are the best in the world, but also it’s a case of focusing on what I’m doing.”
Forrest started his 2019 campaign on an encouraging note in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship a fortnight ago, carding a 65 in the second round before finishing just outside the top 40. “It was not the weekend I was looking for,“ he said of closing rounds of 72-75. “But to have the lowest round of the day on Friday and be in the top 10 at halfway was definitely a positive.”
The Craigielaw player narrowly missed out on getting into last week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic but feels a week off could prove a blessing in disguise over the next month.
“I didn’t expect to get in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai, so for it to have been the bigger of them, that was a bit of a bonus,” he admitted.
“I’m going to Australia after this for two events back-to-back, so five weeks in a row would have been a bit of a busy start to the year. It wasn’t a bad thing having a week off.”
Stephen Gallacher, Richie Ramsay and David Drysdale are also in the field for this week’s $3.5 million event on a course that partially flanks the Red Sea.
“The course is nice,” said Forrest. “There are some really good holes on the back nine and if you drive it well, I think it is going to be pretty scoreable.
“Here it is going to be more about your approach shots whereas in Abu Dhabi the key was off the tee.”