Grant Forrest: Strong start to European Tour season encourages debutant Scot

Grant Forrest finished seventh at the Mauritius Open

Two events played. Two cuts made. One top-10 finish.

Grant Forrest’s start to European Tour life – in Hong Kong and then Mauritius – has been highly satisfactory.

The 25-year-old goes about his business with a quiet confidence.

He’s not been shy to target a win in his debut season on the European Tour. It’s not bravado, it’s just an assurance and faith in his ability.

“I’m happy with my form,” East Lothian-based Forrest told BBC Scotland.

“I’ve been even par or under par in all eight rounds in my first two events, so I’m playing some decent golf.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve surprised myself, I know that if I play well I can compete out here.”

Forrest finished seventh in the 2018 Challenge Tour order of merit, so was one of 15 players to graduate to the European Tour via that route, and wants to make an early impression.

His 36th-placed finish in Hong Kong and seventh place in Mauritius have him sitting in a healthy 15th position in the Race to Dubai rankings.

Next up are back-to-back events in South Africa.

Grant Forrest will play in the South African Open and the Alfred Dunhill Championship before Christmas

“I’m playing these four events in the lead up to Christmas,” said Forrest.

“It would’ve been easy to miss a couple of them and rest up, but I think it’s important to get as many points on the board as early as possible.

“What they’ve done to the Race to Dubai system this year means that the points in the smaller events count for a bit more, so that’s more incentive to play in them and get rewarded for playing well.

“On the European Tour you’ve just got more guys who can shoot the lights out, that’s the biggest difference.

“In Hong Kong the leaders were quite far ahead after the first couple of days and then they continued to pull away. So there is a big difference between winning and coming 30th.”

Accumulating points is one thing; clocking up air miles is another. The new season is three weeks old and Forrest has flown more than 15,000 of them. Keeping fresh is key.

“Planning ahead is the biggest thing, and trying to be as picky as possible with the times I’m flying,” explains Forrest.

“I’ll try not to fly through the night and try to keep as normal a sleep pattern as possible. Making sure you’re prepared with nutrition and hydration as well is so important.

“Taking care of your body when you’re on the road all the time is massive. Over the course of a season, if you don’t look after your body, you’ll end up injured and missing tournaments.”

And a Christmas aim he’d be content with?

“Four out of four cuts made, and another top 10 if possible,” he said.

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BBC Sport – Golf

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