Connor Syme and Calum Hill aim for tour title and Open spot

Connor Syme and Calum Hill are amongst the Scottish hopes teeing off at this week’s abrdn Scottish Open.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 11:38 am

As well as aiming to lift their maiden European Tour titles, the pair, Syme from Drumoig and Hill from Kinross, are also hoping to book a place at next week’s Open Championship at Royal St George's.

Neither have done enough this season to guarantee an invite to the 149th running of the major, but will look to put that right at the Renaissance Club.

Three qualification spots are available to the leading three players at the Scottish Open who are not already exempt, with one additional place also up for grabs at both the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic and the Challenge Tour's Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.

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Can Connor Syme claim his first European Tour title this week on home soil? Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Some players have already withdrawn from this year's Open Championship due to ongoing Covid-19 related travel restrictions, or to prioritise the Olympic Games.

But for Syme and Hill their focus is set firmly on this week’s second Rolex series event of the season in north Berwick.

The tournament makes its return to the Renaissance Club, which held it previously in 2019, although the course setup is still relatively new to players, having undergone a number of changes following the 2019 tournament.

Both local players teed off on Thursday aiming to build on their performances in last week's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Neither really troubled the top end of the leaderboard come the weekend.

Syme ensured a safe passage through to the weekend with two steady rounds of 69 and 71.

He followed these up on Saturday and Sunday with cards of 71 and 72 to finish in a tie for 41st place on -5.

Hill, who has been playing some excellent golf on tour this season, didn’t enjoy the best of fortunes at Co Kilkenny, misfiring and failing to make it through to the final 36 holes.

He opened with a level par 72 on Thursday before his -1 71 a day later left him adrift of the cut mark.

With the Scottish Open being one of the tour’s premium Rolex series events, and carrying a hefty prize purse, it has attracted some of the world’s best golfers to the country, including Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas.