Alastair Forsyth (Golf)
PAISLEY golfer Alastair Forsyth aims to bag a European Tour card when he tees off in the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart today.
The annual event is primarily used by the world’s top golfers as a warm-up for The Open Championship, which is being staged next week at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s.
However, as 36-year-old Forsyth failed to qualify for next week’s showpiece in Lancashire, he hopes to use this week’s event in the Highlands to haul himself back into contention for a European Tour card next season.
Forsyth is currently 129th in the Race to Dubai standings. However, a high-placed finish at Castle Stuart should take him much closer to the magical 115 mark which would ensure he stays on the full Tour in 2013.
He told Express Sports: “I’ll be looking to do well again, knowing that a big week could help me regain my European Tour card.
“I was delighted to be told I’ll be playing in the Scottish Open and I’m grateful to sponsors Aberdeen Asset Management for granting me an invitation.
“It’s a course I enjoyed playing last year and I have good memories of a closing round of 65 to finish in 25th place.
“I’ll look to match or better that at some stage this week.”
Forsyth, from Ralston, tees off for his first round at 1.35pm today and his playing partners are Marcus Fraser, of Australia, and Spanish veteran Jose Maria Olazabal, who has no fewer than 23 European Tour wins to his name.
So far this season, Forsyth’s best finish was at the Africa Open back in January, where he clinched fifth place and earned a prize of 41,000 euros.
He also managed a top 10 finish at the Madeira Islands Open, in Portugal, in May. On that occasion, he claimed ninth spot and earned just over 14,000 euros.
This week, though, it’s more or less a home tournament for the jetset golfer.
Forsyth said: “It’s much better than the normal week as there’s no jumping on a plane. You are in your own car and you have your family with you every night.
“With these things in place, it’s down to me to perform.”
Last year’s Scottish Open was badly affected by wet weather before world number one Luke Donald, from England, claimed the title and there are fears that the elements could play an important part this time around too.
Forsyth added: “It’s well documented what happened with the abysmal weather last year and the tournament being shortened but we can only hope that was a freak.”