Wednesday, 04 October 2017
Connor Syme  (Getty Images)
Connor Syme (Getty Images)

Connor Syme is looking to continue a brilliant start to his professional career and emulate practice partner Rory McIlroy at this week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

The Scotsman enjoyed an excellent amateur career, making the top ten in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and representing Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup before turning professional ahead of the Portugal Masters.

Syme finished 12th in the Algarve and will play his second event in the paid ranks over the Old Course at St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie following a practice round at the home of golf with four-time Major champion McIlroy.

McIlroy played his second professional event at this tournament in 2007, finishing third to take a huge step towards securing his playing privileges on Tour and - while Syme admits his focus is on the Qualifying School in November - the 22 year old is determined to have a good week in Scotland.

"He mentioned it going down the first," said Syme. "It was obviously a big stepping stone for him. He spoke about it and how it was his ambition to do it but you can't really think about that sort of thing.

"When it comes around, grab the opportunity with both hands. Certainly for me, I'm well a ways from thinking about that. I can only hit the first shot at Carnoustie tomorrow and that's all I'm thinking about, really. If it becomes a good week, then brilliant, but I'm looking forward to the challenge for sure.

"Obviously I don't have any status anywhere, maybe a few invites here and there but really, it's just all kind of geared around Stage Two. Certainly that's where my head's at. I know that's exactly where I'm playing.

"It's been a fun two weeks since Portugal and obviously getting the experience to play with Rory today, you can't buy that experience. It was absolutely brilliant to have that opportunity."

If it becomes a good week, then brilliant, but I'm looking forward to the challenge for sure - Connor Syme

McIlroy was very impressed with what he saw from Syme on Wednesday, telling his own press conference: "Seems like he's got a really good head on his shoulders, 22 years old. He seems very mature. Not fazed by anything at all.

"He finished 12th in his first event as a pro in Portugal. Just by that, you can tell he's not really fazed by that sort of environment. Nice game, solid swing and sort of does everything the right way. I don't see any real weaknesses.

"It was good to get out and play 18 with him. Hopefully he has another good week this week and he can do well on his way to getting his Tour card."

"It's obviously great to hear Rory talking highly about my game there," said Syme. "It was great to play with him. It's a great insight for me to see how he does it. He's obviously been at the top of the game for a very long time. It definitely means a lot to have that coming from Rory."

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Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1HATTON, TyrrellENG18-24
2FISHER, RossENG18-21
3DUBUISSON, VictorFRA18-17
T4WARREN, MarcSCO18-14
T4ROCK, RobertENG18-14
T4BOURDY, GrégoryFRA18-14

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