Tuesday, 07 August 2018
Connor Syme  (Getty Images)
Connor Syme (Getty Images)

Connor Syme and Liam Johnston are delighted to be back on home soil as they represent Great Britain at this week's revolutionary European Golf Team Championships.

The Scottish duo will have plenty of home support as one of three Men's GB teams, with the host nation also fielding three teams in the Women's and Mixed events at Gleneagles.

The Men's and Women's events will be played in fourball match play over the first three days, with four groups of four playing in a round robin and the winners of each group progressing to Sunday's semi-finals.

The semi-finals, final and bronze-medal match will then be played in foursome match play to see who wins the coveted gold for their country.

Syme is playing his debut season on the European Tour and recently made headlines when he holed a monster putt on the 18th at the Shot Clock Masters to finish second - his best result as a professional.

Getting to play at home is always nice and I’m sure we’ll have good fun - Connor Syme

The Scot only entered the paid ranks following last season's Walker Cup, and believes he will feel comfortable playing a format he is familiar with in Scotland.

“It’s nice to be back in Scotland and it’s good to be home," he said. "Getting to play at home is always nice and I’m sure we’ll have good fun when it starts tomorrow.

“We played a lot of match play golf during our amateur careers, so it’s not new to us at all. It’s a slightly different format being better ball, but it looks a really fun format and we’re both honoured to be a part of it.

“When I was coming through the youth days, Liam was already playing for Scotland. When I got better we were able to play a bit more together.

“I think Liam has played this course once but I’ve never actually played it. I’ve caddied for my dad around it and I was here for the Ryder Cup.”

Johnston has made a splash already this season, winning at the Andalucia - Costa del Sol Match Play 9 in May in just his third Challenge Tour event and finsihing in the top 30 at the Porsche European Open.

And the 25 year old is excited to be taking on another new challenge alongside Syme, a player he knows well from their junior days.

“I like the format, so it should be good fun," he said. "Playing alongside Connor, we’ll just go out and enjoy it. I think we both enjoy the match play format so hopefully we’ll play well this week.

“We always used to have putting competitions against each other when we were younger. I’ve known Connor since we were ten or 12 years old and I play at the club his dad used to be the head pro at, so we’ve known each other for a long time.

Playing alongside Connor, we’ll just go out and enjoy it. I think we both enjoy the match play format - Liam Johnston

“When we were younger the rivalry between us was who is going to win each other’s ball at the end of the putting competition. It was never serious talk about whether we were going to win a Major or not, we weren’t thinking that far ahead, we were just playing golf.

“It’s so cool to represent Great Britain and it’ll be a cool accolade to look back on in years to come. It would be great to get a medal come the end of the week, as you’d have something to remember it by.”

One of the most eye-catching features of the week will be the Mixed event on Saturday, which features foursome stroke play in teams of four.

Syme and Michele Thomson will play alongside Johnston and Meghan MacLaren, and Syme is excited by the prospect.

“We know some of the girls pretty well, especially a few of the Scottish girls who are playing this week," he said. "I think it’s great to have the women’s involvement as well and it’s going to be exciting. We’re both looking forward to the team aspect of it come Saturday with the foursome action."

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