Scotland’s Alastair Forsyth will hope to put a topsy-turvy tournament in Korea behind him at this week’s Allianz Challenge de France, his first Challenge Tour appearance of the season.
After receiving a late invitation to compete in last week’s Ballantine’s Championship on The European Tour, Forsyth boarded a plane to Seoul but soon regretted the decision after opening with a round of 79 which featured no fewer than 39 putts – comfortably the most of his professional career.
To his credit, the 35 year old from Glasgow rallied impressively on the second day with a sterling round of 67, only to miss the cut by one shot after his short par putt on the final green lipped out.
Forsyth walked off the course with the weight of the world on his shoulders, but will now hope to banish the disappointment at this week’s €150,000 event, which is being held at Golf Disneyland, near the French capital Paris.
He said: “Last Thursday was probably the worst day on the greens I’ve ever had – 35 putts was probably my most ever, so to have 39 was almost soul-destroying. I think I had six three-putts, which is just ridiculous. But I was pleased with how I responded on the Friday, because I played really well. Then to undo all my hard work by missing from two feet on the last was absolutely sickening.
“It was a long way to go to miss the cut by a shot, but I can’t afford to feel sorry for myself because the standard on the Challenge Tour is very high, so I’m going to have to play well this week to get anything out of the tournament. I played at the Qualifying School at the end of last year and the standard was excellent, especially considering the pressure the players are under, so I’m expecting more of the same this week. But I took a lot of confidence from my round last Friday, even though it ended on a low note, so hopefully I can reproduce some of that form here.
“I feel like my game’s coming back to where it needs to be, so hopefully I can get back to where I was. For the next few weeks and months I’ll probably divide my time between the main Tour and the Challenge Tour, but there may come a time when I need to make a decision one way or another. I had the option to go to Spain as the first reserve for the Spanish Open, but I figured I’d be better off playing guaranteed golf here rather than running the risk of not getting into the tournament over there, and hopefully that decision pays off for me.”
Forsyth’s close friend and compatriot Marc Warren also faced the same dilemma, but he too chose to remain at Golf Disneyland, where he will aim to build on his tied sixth finish at the Barclays Kenya Open.
Both men are hoping to close the gap on the current Rankings leader Michel Bothma of South Africa, who climbed to the top after capturing his maiden Challenge Tour title in Kenya.