Fourth top-ten finish on bounce for Fife golfer Connor Syme
Though happy to have kept that succession of successes going – following on from a tie for fourth in Northern Ireland in August and joint-third in Switzerland and joint-seventh in Ireland earlier this month – the 28-year-old admits he was disappointed not to have finished further up the leaderboard than joint-tenth.
Playing in the final group in the $9m Rolex Series event alongside Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg and Merseysider Tommy Fleetwood, Syme had to settle for a closing two-over-par 74 after running up a triple-bogey seven at the eighth hole.
A pushed iron off the tee left him facing a tough second shot to a green guarded by water and he pulled his approach into the trees. He then hit a provisional ball into the water before doing exactly the same thing after going back to the same spot to hit his fourth shot.
“It’s just so frustrating about the eighth,” he said, reflecting on that mishap effectively ending any realistic title hopes.
“I was hitting a wood off the tee earlier in the week and getting it past the dip in the fairway, but, with the front flag, I could lay it back. The wind was gusting at that point and I just leaned on my four-iron a little bit and it ended up in a bad spot.
“I should have taken my medicine really and chopped it down the fairway but I ended up in all sorts of bother and did really well to make a seven, to be honest.”
The former Australian amateur champion, ranked 133rd in the world, undid some of that damage with three birdies in four holes from the 14th before covering the closing stretch in one under par, though.
“From that point, I was really chuffed about how I battled because I was four or five over at that point and it wasn’t looking great, but I managed to make a few birdies,” he said.
“It was good to grind out a score, although it was still disappointing.”
That recovery for a score of 74 – following previous rounds of 67, 70 and 65 – and a 12-under-par total of 276 earned him his fourth top-ten finish in a row, plus £130,000 in prize money and Race to Dubai points, ahead of this week’s Cazoo Open de France at St-Quentin-en-Yvelines and that’s a run of form he’s chuffed with, saying: “Yeah, it’s good.”