Connor Syme has donated part of his €10,000 winnings from his first European Tour “win” – a virtual tournament played at home on Trackman – to the Dundee charity FoodTrain in tribute to the late community worker Sean Hearn.
The 24-year-old from Drumoig shot an eight-under-par round of 64 over a virtual Royal Portrush – site of last year’s Open Championship – on the BMW International powered by Trackman Challenge run by the European Tour whilst their members have to stay at home due to the coronavirus.
Each of the five winners of the challenge event are given €10,000 to give to charities of their choice, and in Connor’s case half of the winnings will be donated in honour of the Dundee charity worker Sean Hearn, who tragically died of the coronavirus last week.
“I’m honoured to have won and have the opportunity to hopefully change a few peoples’ lives,” he said. “Half of my donation will be made to Food Train in memory of Sean Hearn, who I read about this week.
“He was a really valued member of the community in Dundee, a proud charity worker and a community football coach and referee who gave up his time for others in the town where I live.
“Food Train is the charity he worked with and it distributes food and gives support to elderly people in the city.
“Stories like Sean’s and so many others are reminders of the people who are constantly putting themselves out there and how many incredible people we have lost during this crisis.”
Connor did qualify to play in the Open last year only to narrowly miss the cut, but it was a different story in his own house in the second of the simulator challenges, the first over a virtual Old Course at St Andrews being won by the Netherland’s Joost Luiten.
Syme birdied the first two holes in the challenge, added two more birdies at the sixth and seventh, and then took off after the turn, with an eagle and two more birdies.
“Seeing the scores from last week I wasn’t really sure how I would fare, but it was great to get a good score around Royal Portrush,” he said.
“I played solid on the front nine and then I just went crazy for a few holes ten through 14 – that was a cool run to go on. It was my first time competing in something like this on Trackman, so I really had no idea what a good score would be, but I was very happy with the numbers.
“I’ve actually been following a program with Spencer Henderson, the Scotland under 18 national coach. He’s been keeping us busy on Trackman, so I probably owe a lot of this win to him. I don’t know how sharp I would have been otherwise.”
The other half of Connor’s winnings will be donated to the Hospice of the Valleys charity, which had helped with palliative care for Connor’s girlfriend’s grandfather, who died last week after a long battle with cancer.
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