Connor Syme couldn’t convert a lead into a win on the final day at Celtic Manor for the second week in a row, but the Drumoig player got the consolation of his first ticket to a US Open at the end of the ISPS Handa Wales Open.
The 25-year-old shot a four-over 75 in the final round and slipped to a tied for eight finish behind France’s Romain Langasque, who took his first tour title with a six-under 65 in the fifth and penultimate UK Swing event.
For Syme, it was another poor final day to follow the Celtic Classic event at the same venue last week. Both times the 25-year-old had the lead or a share going into the final round only to have his worst round of the week.
The only consolation is that both men who won those events – Sam Horsfield and Langasque – did so with brilliant final rounds that probably would have beaten anyone, and that the place at Winged Foot next month – as one of the top ten performers in the UK Swing so far – was secured.
“Obviously I’m bitterly disappointed, it was a really poor final five or six holes for me, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” said Syme afterwards.
“That will be special to be at the U.S. Open. That was certainly a goal for these UK Swing events, to try and qualify. So obviously I’m delighted to have achieved that. but it’s obviously sore with today. The goal was to try not to think about that and just try win the golf tournament.
“But unfortunately I just didn’t quite have it today and a few wrong decisions unfortunately and I just didn’t quite have it. But that’s golf and there’ll be a next time.”
Connor twice moved ahead on his own on the final day but it was the two three-putts at 14 and 15 for bogey and par that cost him dear, and when Langasque went clear a few groups ahead, Syme had to push in the final holes and his chances were gone with a further bogey at 16.
Langasque, who won the Anateur Championship at Carnoustie in 2015, didn’t have a bogey in his final round with the key birdie at the tough 16th giving him the breathing space to coast home.
Calum Hill had a strong weekend with rounds of 68 and 69 to finish tied for 8th, his best performance in his rookie year on tour, while Liam Johnson also had his best tour finish tied for 15th on two-under.