Drumoig’s Connor Syme drained monster a 50 foot birdie putt on the final green at the Shot Clock Masters in Austria to secure his best finish so far in his rookie European Tour season and leap 100 more than places in the rankings.
The 22-year-old got a huge boost in his quest to retain the Tour card he won at Q School last year with a final round 69 for a four-round, ten-under total of 278, six shots behind runaway winner Mikko Korhonen but on his own in second place.
He had to battle through two separate delays of an hour each for lightning threats at the Diamond Country Club, but although he had two bogeys after the first stoppage, he managed to come back with two birdies and seven pars on the back nine to claim outright second place from four men on nine-under.
Syme won around €111,140 (£97,574) which helps him leap from 206th to 101st on the Race to Dubai, but just as importantly gives him more of a chance to play in the more lucrative events on tour as it enters high season.
The European Tour re-ranks last year’s Q School graduates today and this result will give Connor a slightly higher placing with big-earning tournaments like the French, Irish and Scottish Opens in the next month.
“I’m over the moon with how I played today and that was a massive bonus on the last,” he said after his dramatic finish.
“It’s massive as I have had a couple of decent results to the European Tour since I’ve gained my card and this result will turn things around a lot.
“I did not hit a very good tee shot there at 18, but I felt like it was a special week and I just fancied myself to do something really classy at the end. That birdie putt dropping is a dream come true.”
“It will obviously open-up a few doors and get me into the Rolex Series events as they are massive, and to be able to get into them will be brilliant,” he added.
Connor had limited playing opportunities for the first few months of this season due to his category from Q School, and this was only his 12th event out of a possible 24 events. His best finish so far this season was a tie for 11th at the Tshwane Open in South Africa back in March, one of only three times he made the cut prior to this week.
The son of PGA pro Stuart Syme did however have an outstanding start to his professional career after leaving the amateurs following the Walker Cup last September.
He had one of the best debut performances ever by a Scot on the European Tour with 12th place finish in the Portugal Masters, and following it up with a tie for 15th at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, playing in both with invitations.
In his first attempt at the Q School final at Lumine in Spain in November, Connor finished 11th to secure playing rights for this season.