Invitee Grant Forrest delighted to 'show my worth' in Genesis Scottish Open
The 30-year-old, who lives in Pencaitland, is handily-placed heading into the final two rounds in the Genesis Scottish Open after opening with rounds of 69-65 at The Renaissance Club.
Forrest is making the most of securing an invitation, having earned his spot in the $9 million event on the back of a strong opening half of the year on the DP World Tour.
“It wouldn't have been nice,” admitted the host club-based player of how he’d have felt to miss out on teeing up in an event featuring eight of the top ten in the world.
“A huge event on my doorstep. I might have gone to the US (to play in the other DP World Tour and PGA Tour co-sanctioned event in Kentucky).
“But I’d rather have been here. I’ve played three times it’s been here. I would have been gutted to have missed this. It’s nice to make the most of the invitation and show my worth in the field.”
Forrest’s second-day effort, which contained seven birdies, including a splendid 2 at the tough ninth to finish, came in testing conditions as the rain swept in.
“Yeah, it's Scotland. This is summer,” said smiling. “A few deluges on the way around. Just try and hit your shot and do what you can, that's all you can do. On the seventh, it was fine when I put my ball on the tee peg and then by the time I hit it, I was soaking.
“I didn't make it that easy for myself, especially on our back nine, but managed to make a few good saves to keep the momentum going and then it was nice to finish with a 2 on nine.
“It's a little bit of luck where you are on the course when you get them. I was on the seventh tee, 500 yards straight into the wind and rain. I hit a great shot but probably lost 30, 40 yards. All of a sudden I have a 5-wood in instead of probably a 5-iron. It's a little bit of luck but that's links golf.”
Forrest is one of the players trying to secure a spot in next week’s 151st Open, with three places on offer for the leading non-exempt players on Sunday night.
“Absolutely,” he said of that being a big goal over the weekend. “It’s a by-product of having a good week. I think you don’t have to be in top 10. You can be 18th and still get one of the spots. Lots of guys are already in the Open so we’ll see. There's lots of golf to be played yet.”
On a rain-softened course, lots of players went low on the second day. “Plenty of birdies. But it's tricky,” insisted Forrest. A few holes were playing difficult with the opposite wind today. If it picks up a little bit (and the forecast is for gusts up to 40mph on Sunday), it will be tricky.
“The wind has been more right-to-left than left-to-right. But I think the main thing is the greens softened up overnight, so you can attack the pins and get a bit closer.”