Connor Syme's putting practice pays off

Connor Syme was unable to build on his third-place finish at the Magical Kenya Open in the second of two back-to-back golf events in Nairobi.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 10:42 am
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 12:28 pm
Connor Syme plays his tee shot on the 14th hole during day two of the Kenya Savannah Classic at Karen Country Club in Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

But the Drumoig 25-year-old certainly returned to Scotland with plenty of positives to build on after a spell of hard work on the practice greens paid off in East Africa.

Connor found himself in contention going into the final day’s play at the Magical Kenya Open, played at the Karen Country Club, recording three opening rounds of 65, 67 and 71.

He did pretty much everything he could on the final day, with a terrific closing round of 64 seeing him hole nine birdies and make just two bogeys.

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The event’s winner, South African Justin Harding, simply wasn’t for catching and he managed to keep the chasing pack at arm’s length.

The tie for third, finishing on -17 for the tournament, helped Connor climb over 100 places in the Race to Dubai rankings ahead of the second event, the Kenya Savannah Classic, on since Tuesday.

Sadly it wasn’t to be at the follow-up tournament, played just a couple of days after the first, which has become a trend in the lockdown era.

Two rounds of 71 saw Connor miss the cut.

Reflecting on his podium finish at the Magical Kenya Open, Connor revealed that brushing up on his putting at home with dad and coach Stuart was key to his performance.

He said: “I’ve been working really hard over the last four weeks with my dad Stuart back home on putting.

"Phil Kenyon has been helping me out a little bit as well, as has Mike (Rae) at my dad’s range, so I’m chuffed to see that come to fruition.

"64 on a Sunday is probably one of my lowest finishes to a tournament.”

Connor was joined inside the top 10 at the Magical Kenya Open by Kinross pro Calum Hill.

The 26-year-old also scored brilliantly, his four rounds of 65, 68, 67 and 70 helping him to a tie for eighth.

Calum did manage to take that form into the Kenya Savannah Classic and, at the time of writing, had again forced himself into contention at the top end of the leaderboard. The tournament is due to finish today.

The European Tour then takes a break before it resumes in Austria in April.