Long haul trek to Austria for Connor Syme as European Tour tees off again

Connor Syme of Drumoig is back in action on the European Tour. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)Connor Syme of Drumoig is back in action on the European Tour. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Connor Syme of Drumoig is back in action on the European Tour. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Connor Syme teed off at the Austrian Open on Thursday after enduring a gruelling journey to the Diamond Country Club.

The Drumoig European Tour pro had to scramble to the course after flight restrictions into the host country were implemented.

Instead of flying directly into Vienna Airport, which is just over an hour away from the country club, players had to instead find other ways of getting to the course in time for Thursday’s start.

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The event, the first since the sport went on hiatus in March following the coronavirus outbreak, is a dual ranking tournament, counting on both the European Tour and the Challenge Tour.

The European Tour fully resumes with the Betfred British Masters from July 22 - the first of six successive events on a new UK Swing.

Having eventually reached the course earlier this week, Connor was in a relaxed frame of mind ahead of his tee off and says the safety precautions taken have been spot on.

He said: “We’re all delighted to be back, that’s the main thing.

“It was tough to get here (to the course).

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“Coming from Scotland we took the train and then drove, it’s been a bit of a trek.

“It feels weird but also safe too with the precautions the European Tour have taken to make it possible to play.

“It’s good.”

Connor’s start to the tour season had been a healthy one before the campaign was paused with 171.4 Race to Dubai ranking points seeing him sitting in 61st place ahead of Austria.

Under normal circumstances the final rankings table would determine if players kept their card for next season but the European Tour has already confirmed that no players will lose playing rights this term.

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It’s helped to create an air of freedom on the return to competitive action and Connor is determined to swing freely this week and not let any rustiness get him down at a course he recorded a second place finish in the tour’s 2018 Shot Clock Masters.

He added: “I have positive memories from playing here (at the Diamond Country Club).

“This is the first competition back in four months so I think we’ll be a little bit easier on ourselves and accepting of bad shots.

“There will be a little bit of that going on.

“Although I’ve been working on stuff and practicing back home, we’ve not been able to do any bunker practice, work on our short game or putting so I expect to be a little bit rusty.

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“But everybody is going to be in the same boat so I’ll take it easy and it may be a bit more lighthearted and I’ll play some better golf because of that.

“I’m excited to get back playing and it’s good to come back to a course we know.”

Connor, who was speaking to www.europeantour.com, teed off his opening round on Thursday afternoon.

Calum Hill, from Kinross, is not competing this week.

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