Walker Cup place is top of the priority list for Connor

Drumoig's Connor Syme is one of the top ranked amateur golfers in the world.
Drumoig's Connor Syme is one of the top ranked amateur golfers in the world.

Connor Syme is ready to attack 2017 after spending the turn of the year tuning up his game and working on his physical fitness.

The Drumoig amateur, ranked number 19 in the world and third across GB and Ireland, is aiming to repeat, or better, what was a terrific 2016 on golf courses across the world.

Syme set a marker down last January when he won the Australian Amateur title.

He was then part of the GB and Ireland team which retained the St Andrews Trophy later in the year.

The campaign ended with an appearance at the Emirates Australian Open, a high profile event won by former world number one Jordan Spieth.

Fresh targets have now been set for the year as Syme begins his new season towards the end of this month.

And he’ll be going straight in at the deep end, with a European Tour event to begin with.

“I heard just a few days ago that I’ve been given a start at the Joburg Open so that’ll begin the season,” said Syme.

“It’s a big tournament and a great way to start.

“I’ll also play the African Amateur at Leopard Creek and then a triangular match out there.

“I’ve been practicing a lot over the past few weeks and been doing plenty of physical work as well before heading out to South Africa.

“Last year was such a big year for me I just wanted to take some time to re-energise.”

It’s a tough start to the year for the Drumoig golfer but one which he can’t wait to get his teeth into.

Last year the plan was to win one of the major amateur events, which he did in Australia, and cement his place as one of the best amateurs in the world.

And that development is set to continue, with Syme in no doubt about what he wants to achieve this season.

“I want to make the Walker Cup team,” he said.

“In terms of goals for the year, that’s what I want to achieve.

“My ranking at the moment is good but there’s a long way to go until the side is selected.”

Syme went some way to securing a place in the final Walker Cup team last week when he was announced by the R&A as one of six Scots in an initial 19-man squad.

Ranking points and form will determine who makes the cut for the tournament.

The 46th Walker Cup match will be played over the weekend of 9 – 10 September and GB&I will bid to retain the historic trophy after a record 16½ – 9½ victory over the USA at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2015.

With plenty of points to play for between now and the Walker Cup team is selected, Syme is targeting several events, such as Crail Golfing Society’s Battle Trophy, to cement his place in the side.

Craig Watson will captain the GB&I Walker Cup team for the first time.