July 10, 2018
CLARE BODEL: Connor, welcome it's your first time playing Gullane as a professional and your first time here at The Scottish Open. How much are you looking forward to the week?
CONNOR SYME: I'm mega excited, definitely. It was looking positive about getting out of my category but kind of touch and go. There's been a fair amount of chat about it over the last few weeks with friends and family and stuff. Mega excited that it's panned out well and I'm playing this week.
CLARE BODEL: Tell us about how you're feeling about the season so far. You had that great second place in Austria at the Shot Clock Masters. You were feeling really positive about how your game was going then. How has the season been so far?
CONNOR SYME: There's been a few, quite a lot of positives, but a few missed cuts I've not been too pleased about. It's all there, first year on Tour, new courses and stuff like that. It's been close, and now I feel like I've been competing every week, unfortunately around the cut mark. Always a lot of pressure around every shot.
It's been great. I've obviously enjoyed my first year on Tour, but hopefully that can kick over the edge hopefully this week.
Q. Did you play Gullane a few years back? Your experience of the course?
CONNOR SYME: Yeah, I played Gullane quite a bit in junior tournaments and but it was my first time playing.
Q. Did you play all four rounds in that?
CONNOR SYME: I finished fifth. So I was slightly slow first rounds, but had a good first couple rounds over the Sunday, yeah.
Q. Is that one of the more difficult first-year things on Tour, so many places are new to you? You had played in Austria before.
CONNOR SYME: Well, I don't know, my two best results this year have both been on courses I've known. I think you ask anybody; it's definitely nicer going back to somewhere you know, and it's nice through the week.
Both courses I've been able to take it a little bit easier. Definitely have to work harder than most guys to learn a golf course. Yeah, I know Gullane and hopefully that kind of plays into my hands a little bit.
Q. You're used to playing links courses, but how different is the course playing this week and is that the type of test that you relish?
CONNOR SYME: It's obviously a lot firmer than what we would have played in the past. It always plays pretty firm and I think it's always been in immaculate condition and it's never been too soft or anything like that.
Yeah, hopefully it's -- I think every course I've played, certainly when I've been home, has been very, very bouncy and firm. It's been so warm here the last few months or so.
Yeah, hopefully that does help.
Q. You talked earlier in the year of the goals you set yourself. What are they at the moment and the rest of the year?
CONNOR SYME: I think getting my European Tour card would be a great achievement for me this year.
Obviously I had a few more opportunities now than I might have had at the start of the year, getting into the Rolex Series, this is going to be my fourth Rolex Series Event, which start of the year, hopefully you get an invite and you have an opportunity, but it's been great.
I've had a lot of good opportunities. Obviously find myself in pretty good position. Race to Dubai is not too far away, I guess the magic number, 110. That would be a great step in my career, having a full schedule next year and being able to plan a full schedule. I think you're still waiting on the reshuffle, two weeks in advance. So having that next year would obviously be a great goal to hopefully be able to kick on. If I was able to have achieved that, my goals would be different and obviously be higher up The Race to Dubai.
This year, if I got into the top 110, my team would look at it as a great season.
Q. How much encouragement do you take from the home galleries this week?
CONNOR SYME: It's a massive event. I've had a few more messages than normal I guess. A lot of people excited that I'm playing, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm seeing my girlfriend this week, which doesn't happen very often. It's nice. My dad's down, he walked a few holes with me yesterday and carried a bag.
Yeah, it's cool. It's pretty relaxed but I'm looking forward to getting kicked off on Thursday.
Q. Do you recall some of your memories of Scottish Opens as a kid?
CONNOR SYME: Yeah, it's always been a massive tournament. I think when it was at Loch Lomond, I was not too young but I was definitely more into football probably at that point. It wasn't something that I went to in the past.
But since it's been taken over, probably since Aberdeen took it over in 2013 when it was at Royal Aberdeen and Justin Rose won. I think it got my attention a little bit more, and if I've not been here, I'll have watched it, and got more added interest when the Men's European Teams, Calum Hill qualified. Me and him were travelling all over the place in boys' golf at that point, probably our first or second year at men's golf at that point. It was obviously brilliant for him to qualify. I found a fair bit more buzz around it.
It's great. I think it shows the strength of the field this week. It's a massive tournament, massive field.
Q. In a year, have you noticed anything, biggest things you've learned or changed professionally and personally in that last 12 months?
CONNOR SYME: Yeah, there's definitely, I guess, it's my job now. There's more responsibility on me to, well, there is, to go out and perform and stuff, as well. I'm treating things very, very similar. Tried to keep my practise all the time and everything like that.
Biggest thing I learned is probably my time management. I try to speak and get advice from guys like Stephen Gallacher and stuff, I played with him in Germany a few weeks ago. Everyone is different, but it's finding out how the guys have done it for such a long period of time out here on Tour.
Young guy, keen to do well, you can overdo it. As crazy as that sounds, yeah, there's a lot of travel involved, a lot of practise, and you know, Monday, Thursday, can be quite long but you want to kind of practise and get going but if you're not fresh by Thursday, it's not really successful.
Try to stay as fresh as possible for my Thursday, kind of through the tournament, is probably what I've learned most over the last few months.
CLARE BODEL: Good luck this week.
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