Momentum with Syme ahead of Old Course test

Connor Syme had plenty to smile about after leaving the 18th with a birdie ahead of tomorrow's third round at St Andrews. Pic by John Stewart.
Connor Syme had plenty to smile about after leaving the 18th with a birdie ahead of tomorrow's third round at St Andrews. Pic by John Stewart.

A terrific birdie on Kingsbarns' 18th sent Connor Syme into tomorrow's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship round three with a spring in his step.

If his level par first round was steady, Syme's second over the north east Fife course saw him step up a gear to go into the final round before the cut -2.

And it could have been even better, the Drumoig 22-year-old's sterling approach play giving him a look at a few birdies he didn't pick up.

Frustratingly his round could also have been a little lower if not for a string of bogeys.

But on the whole this was a positive 18 for the assured newly turned pro.

It was his approach work which impressed the most, the Fifer finding the right line time after time.

There were chances to go below par on holes one and two before Syme eventually snatched his chance on the par five third.

Conditions for links golf in mid-October were really as good as they could have been with the wind never really getting up too much and the rain staying well away.

Another birdie followed on the sixth before it was given back on the ninth.

Syme's back nine was topsy-turvy with birdie, bogey, birdie, bogey on 12, 13, 14 and 15.

Holes 16 and 17 saw him compose himself before a trademark sublime approach on the 18th left just a foot long tap in to end the round with a deserved birdie.

Playing just his second event as a pro, Syme is feeling good ahead of Saturday's play.

He said: "There were a few chances as well as the ones I did make.

"It was solid and I felt I played well without getting the most out of my round.

"Finishing with the three gives me that bit of momentum going into tomorrow so that was quite an important shot.

"It was perfect this morning when it was flat calm but it was a slow round with the amount of people playing.

"But we enjoyed it and hopefully we can push on now."