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Grant Forrest optimistic ahead of Hero Open title defence 

Grant Forrest optimistic ahead of Hero Open title defence 

Grant Forrest believes he has turned a corner with his game as he makes his first DP World Tour title defence at the 2022 Hero Open.

Grant Forrest-1410497342

The 29-year-old shot rounds of 62 and 66 over the weekend at Fairmont St Andrews last year to claim a one-shot victory and become the first Scotsman to win on home soil since Paul Lawrie at the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship.

Forrest has been hampered by a hip injury during a challenging first half of the 2022 season, but with a joint-third finish last week at the Cazoo Classic behind countryman and winner Richie Ramsay, he is hopeful that result provides him with the springboard to enjoy a sustained spell of form.

“It has been a bit of a struggle the first six months of the year,” he said. “But [rediscovering your form] is never far away.

“I feel like I am onto something after last week and hopefully I can keep it going.

“Any place you do well at brings fond memories and it brings a good vibe to the week.

“It is new territory for me, certainly in the professional game to defend a tournament and hopefully I can win it again.”

Any place you do well at brings fond memories and it brings a good vibe to the week

After beginning the final round in St Andrews tied for the lead alongside Calum Hill, Forrest produced a birdie-birdie finish to claim the trophy with a winning score of 24 under.

“It was completely surreal,” he reflected. “To have all the family watching, to finish the way that I finished as well and get over the line was just unbelievable.

“The shot onto the par-three 17th was the big one. I had just three-putted the 16th to go from one ahead to one behind James Morrison who had birdied the last to set the clubhouse target.

“I knew I needed one birdie but to get it on 17… I hit a lovely shot to about six feet. The 18th was always a good chance, reachable in two so going on to 18 knowing a birdie was to win and not just get into a play-off made a little bit easier as well.”

The Torrance course at Fairmont St Andrews plays host to a Tour event this week for the third consecutive year, and Forrest, who missed on securing a spot at The 150th Open in Final Qualifying at the links venue, knows more than most the challenge the course will present the field.

“There is a good mix of the longer and shorter holes. The wind is always a big factor here, with it being so exposed.

"I would say the front nine is more scoreable and then you have got some tougher holes, the tenth especially. That is probably the toughest hole on the course.”

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