Syme lands his second top 15 finish as a pro

Connor Syme shot a closing day 66 to finish in the top 15 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Picture by John Stewart.
Connor Syme shot a closing day 66 to finish in the top 15 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Picture by John Stewart.

Connor Syme is making the transition from the amateur game to the professional ranks look absolutely seamless.

The 22-year-old from Drumoig appeared in only his second pro tournament this weekend at the local Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

It followed on from his maiden appearance at the Portugal Masters a couple of weeks back where he finished in a tie for 12th, picked up a nice cheque and landed an invite to the Dunhill.

The weekend's event gave Syme a chance to continue his momentum going into next month's European Tour qualifying school where he'll aim to win playing rights for next season.

And given the way he played over Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and the Old Course twice, Syme would probably be delighted if he could start his qualifying campaign tomorrow.

His first round over Carnoustie was steady but, impressively, he would go on to improve his scores every day.

The Angus course saw Syme card a 72 before a 70 followed a day later at Kingsbarns.

Round three at the Old Course saw Syme shoot a 69 before a closing 66 on Sunday.

The Saturday 69 tells only half a story though.

Things looked to be turning sour for Syme after has opening nine saw him bogey three and birdrie one.

At that point he was heading out of the event.

But the 22-year-old has a steely determination about him and a level of maturity which saw him refuse to sulk or beat himself up and instead compose himself, find out what he needed to score on the back nine and then go out and shoot it.

He did that and more, a flawless closing nine holes were lit up with five birdies.

Sadly he wasn't in contention to win the event on the closing day - simply because only one man was.

Tyrrell Hatton clearly loves the Home of Golf and wrapped up back to back wins at the Dunhill.

Mirroring the events of 12 months ago, the Englishman went into the final 18 holes knowing only a collapse of massive proportions separated him from a European Tour win.

Despite a late challenge from Ross Fisher, who shot -11 on the final day to finish on -21, Hatton eased to victory by three clear shots.

It was one stroke better than his winning mark in 2016 with the three links courses, which at times were bathed in beautiful autumnal sunshine, letting their guard down for four days.

And with next year's Open Championship being played at Carnoustie, you'd have to think Hatton is now one of the main contenders.

Drumoig's Syme arrived on Sunday to simply improve on his score - and hopefully gatecrash the top 15 once again.

In Portugal he avoided bogey across the entire weekend.

Back on home soil Syme built on his bogey free back nine on Saturday with another perfect 18 on Sunday, carding three birdies on both the front and back nine to end his competition on -11 and in a tie for 15th.