His target was just to make the cut, but the lowest round in Connor Syme’s professional career brought the Fifer right back into the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open.
Syme’s second round nine-under 61 surpasses the 62 he shot on his Scottish Open debut at Gullane in 2018, and it took him from 125th place after day one into the top 15 going into the weekend.
It was also a massive reassurance for the 25-year-old, who felt he was playing well coming back on the European Tour after a three week break but was surprised by his first round one-over 71.
‘It was a bit of a shock’
“I didn’t see it coming, it was a bit of a shock,” he admitted. “I feel I’ve been playing pretty well. There was a third in Kenya and although I missed the cut the week after, I was playing really, really well at home.
“Usually I don’t really have the motivation to play well on time off. But I felt good and 125th last night wasn’t the start I was hoping for after three weeks off.”
Undettered, Syme set himself a second round target of seven-under – “just to be here for the weekend”.
“And I managed to do a couple better than that. It’s nice to bounce back, at least I’m back in the tournament from where I was last night.”
‘It’s still going to take another couple of low ones’
Connor was a solid three-under without a dropped shot to the turn. He was even better coming back in 30, with an eagle at the 13th and birdies at the last two holes the highlights.
“I hadn’t really noticed this was a par 70 until I signed my card yesterday for a 71,” he said. “I shot a 62 in the Scottish a few years ago, but nice to beat that by one today.
“It really didn’t feel that much more scoreable than yesterday. I think it’s still going to take another couple of low ones.
“We thought that at the start of the week, something like 20-under’s going to be a winning total. It’ll need to be a couple of low numbers at the weekend.”
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— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) April 23, 2021
Syme’s 61 was only equal best round of the day at the Meloneras resort course, with former Ryder Cup star Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark also returning a 61 to lead by two on a 14-under total.
Two of the first day leaders, Germany’s Maxmilian Keiffer and Robin Roussell of France, both shot 65 to share second place. Another former Ryder Cup player, Victor Dubuisson, had an eight-under 62 to move into the top ten.
Richie Ramsay, who has been scrambling for his best form this season, also had a 65 to move up into a share of 20th place at seven-under. Perthshire’s Calum Hill, currently lying 22nd on the Race to Dubai, had a four-under 66 and will easily make the cut on six-under.
MacIntyre confirmed for British Masters
Meanwhile Scotland’s leading player of the moment Robert MacIntyre has confirmed he will play at the Betfred British Masters presented by Danny Willett at the Belfry next month.
MacIntyre, fresh from a tie for 12th in his Masters debut, is having three weeks off but will re-start in an event he finished tied for second the last time he played, at Hillside in 2019.
Bernard Gallacher, Sandy Lyle, Sam Torrance, Colin Montgomerie and Gary Orr have all won the British Masters title since its inception in 1972.
“Some of the most iconic names in Scottish golf have won the British Masters and I’d love to add my name to that list,” said MacIntyre.
“I came close to winning this event two years ago at Hillside and I feel as though I learned a lot from that experience of being in contention down the home stretch.”