Following a string of recent near misses Grant Forrest is looking to make the most of home advantage as he goes in search of a maiden European Challenge Tour title at this week’s SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts.
The Scot, who turned 25 yesterday, has come close to a first professional victory on two occasions this season.
In May Forrest finished as a runner-up in the Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play after losing out 1up in the final against countryman Liam Johnston, then last week he was pipped to the post by Stuart Manley who prevailed in a three-hole play-off at the Hauts de France Golf Open.
Those strong showings have helped push the man from North Berwick up to seventh place on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah though, and following an excellent start to his second season on Europe’s top developmental tour Forrest believes a win is around the corner.
“I’ve had two second place finishes this year but you don’t get too down about losing out,” he said. “Any time you have a chance to win out here, you know you are doing something right.
“That’s the way you have to look at it. I had a couple of putts on the 18th last week that just didn’t want to go in.
“But that’s golf. It’s about kicking on, doing the right things and staying confident that it will happen.
“I’ve been playing nicely and it’s good to come to an event with a bit of form. It’s been a long stretch of golf. This is my tenth event in the last 11 weeks. I’m feeling a bit tired now but I’m looking forward to this.”
Forrest has competed in the last three editions of the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge, and after shooting a six under par closing round of 65 at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club last year he returns to the Scottish Highlands on a high.
“It’s one of the fairest of the courses we play on the Challenge Tour,” he said. “You look at the scoring and it’s always pretty low. It surprises people and it surprised me the first couple of times I played it. But the more you play it, you realise that if you’re good off the tee you will get chances.
“It doesn’t play too long and you have a lot of wedges into the greens which gives you chances. Some of the other courses we play can be just more of a putting competition.
“This event has had some really good champions and that says a lot about the golf course itself. It’s a proper test.”
Joining Forrest in Scotland is Wales’s Manley who moved up to third place on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah after triumphing in France last week.
Also competing this week in his homeland is Craig Lawrie, the son on Major Champion Paul Lawrie.