Forrest cuts down the competition to win the Hero Open
Grant Forrest became the first Scotsman to win on home soil in nearly a decade as he triumphed at the Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews.
The 28-year-old started the final round in a share of the lead with compatriot Calum Hill and the pair traded blows on the front nine as they both made the turn in 33 shots. The turning point of the afternoon came on the tenth hole as Hill double-bogeyed the par four, with Forrest making birdie for a three-shot swing.
Forrest then birdied the 11th to move to 23 under par and he was joined on that number by Englishman James Morrison who made a late charge with a nine under par round of 63. Forrest lost the lead after a bogey on the 16th, but he recovered with a birdie on the 17th and left himself two feet for birdie - and victory - on the 18th.
Forrest tapped in the putt in front of the home fans, signing for a six under par round and a 24 under par total, also securing the first Scottish win on home soil since Paul Lawrie triumphed at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2012.
Morrison finished second, two strokes ahead of Spain’s Santiago Tarrio who continued his incredible recent form with a 21 under par round. Hill and compatriot David Law shared fourth place on 20 under.
Player Quotes
Grant Forrest: “So many emotions. To do it in front of everyone who has come up to support me, the last year and a half has been a real challenge on and off the course. I’m delighted, it’ll take a while to sink in.
“I hit a poor shot into 16 and tried to be a bit too safe and three putted, I saw the scoreboard and knew what I needed to do. The big thing all day was one shot at a time, just keep hitting shots. I hit a great nine iron into 17, nice and close, that really helps. And two great shots into 18, it was a great way to finish.
“It means so much. We’ve been through quite a lot as a family. To do it here, it’s what I’ve always dreamed of, winning a European Tour event. I can’t believe it.
“It’s one thing doing well in amateur golf but turning pro and doing it week-in, week-out on different golf courses. I’ve had to make a lot of improvements and changes to my game to get to this point. It’s just really fulfilling to see it come off this week.
“Golf’s a funny game, you never know when it’s going to click and when it’s going to be your week. Last week was the complete opposite – things didn’t go our way at all. You keep doing the right things, trusting that and fortunately this week was our week.”
All images Copyright © 2021 Matt Hooper Photography
Words courtesy the European Tour
Scots set for final day showdown in St Andrews

Scotsmen Grant Forrest and Calum Hill share the lead ahead of the final round of the Hero Open, with compatriot David Law trailing by just two strokes at Fairmont St Andrews.
Forrest set the clubhouse target of 18 under par after a stunning ten under par 62, which included 11 birdies despite tricky conditions on Scotland’s east coast. He was joined on that number by Calum Hill, who carded a five under par round of 67.
They will be joined in the final group by Spaniard Santiago Tarrio, who leads the Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca Rankings after two victories on the developmental Tour within the last nine weeks. Tarrio matched Hill’s round of 67 for a 17 under par total.
Law carded one of the few bogey free rounds of the day, a six under par 66 to share fourth with 36-hole leader Lucas Bjerregaard. Since his bogey on the 11th hole of his first round, Law hasn’t dropped a shot on the 43 holes since.
Forrest, Hill and Law are bidding to become the first Scottish winner on home soil since Paul Lawrie won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2012. Bjerregaard, meanwhile, has previously tasted success in St Andrews, winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2018.
Player Quotes
Grant Forrest: “It was one of those days – bogey start as well and you’re thinking it’s not an ideal start. The first couple of days I played nicely but couldn’t get anything going and didn’t really make a putt. Today I changed my putting grip and I made pretty much everything. I think Lucas’s (Bjerregaard) putter from yesterday might have rubbed off on me a little bit.
“I just felt I wasn’t hitting putts solidly and I went back to left over right, which I’ve done in the past so it’s not something new. It feels natural. I hit loads of really good putts today. It’s tough making putts in that wind, you need a little bit of luck and I got that. I’m delighted.
“I’ve been playing better tee to green since Germany onwards. I had a good week at the Irish Open and then last week I didn’t really play poorly I just didn’t score and ended up missing the cut. I’ve been feeling confident in my game so I’m just trusting that and trusting the good scores will come along.”
Calum Hill: “I played really nice. It was difficult to make putts when it got windy, so I think that altered my score a bit because today I felt like it was my best ball-striking round. All around, I’m very happy.
“I’m very determined (to win). This is what you play for isn’t it? I’m looking forward to it with the home crowd and family watching, I’ll be giving it my best.”
Santiago Tarrio: “It was a difficult day with the strong wind on the final 12 or 13 holes. I didn’t play good, but I made some birdie chances and made some par saves. I’ll try to play the same golf tomorrow.
“I like playing in the wind. I like moving the ball with my irons and the driver, but with the putter too much wind is no good for me.
“I’ll try to play the same golf. I know my golf is improving if I’m spending a lot of weeks at the top of the leaderboard – either on the Challenge Tour or the European Tour.”
David Law: “I’m really pleased – especially with the back nine. The wind really picked up and there’s some tough holes coming in. I played good tee to green and holed some nice putts, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
“I’ve been playing in these conditions for a long time, you put the ball back in your stance, take a club, sometimes two, more and just hit it soft. That 17th hole is 190 yards but must have played 230 yards, it’s certainly difficult out there.

“It would mean a lot (to win at home). I’ve not been in this position, up there trying to win a golf tournament, for a couple of years. I’ve been playing good golf and I’m comfortable in these situations. I’m really looking forward to it, it’s why we practice and why we play. I’m excited.”
Lucas Bjerregaard: “It was a bit more of a battle than yesterday. I didn’t play my best today, especially off the tee and then when the conditions are like this you don’t get many looks at birdies. It got pretty windy on the back nine, I felt like I lost the grip on my putter a bit. Not great, but I’m still in the mix and it’s nice to be here again.”
All images Copyright © 2021 Matt Hooper Photography
Words courtesy the European Tour
Bjerregaard bursts into Hero Open lead

Lucas Bjerregaard holds the halfway lead at a European Tour event for the first time in over three years after carding a ten under par 62 at the second round of the Hero Open.
The Dane, whose last victory was on Scottish soil at the 2018 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, made the turn at Fairmont St Andrews in four under par, and produced a blistering back nine which saw him card six consecutive birdies from the third to the eighth as he signed for a 15 under par total and a two-stroke lead.
Scotsman Calum Hill, who led after 18 holes, leads the home charge after carding a four under par 68 to move to 13 under. He’s one stroke ahead of Santiago Tarrio of Spain and South Africa’s Justin Walters.
Walters carded an eight under par round of 64, with Tarrio signing for a seven under 65. Tarrio is currently the leader on the Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca Rankings with two wins on the developmental circuit in 2021.
Nine groups are still to complete their rounds after a delay of three hours and 20 minutes due to the threat of lightning on Friday morning. The second round will resume at 07:50 on Saturday, with round three starting no earlier than 10:20.
Note to Editors: Bjerregaard’s ten under par 62 is not a course record as preferred lies were in use.
Player Quotes
Lucas Bjerregaard: “My putter might be the most valuable thing in Scotland right now. I’ve never putted like that and I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone putt like that. That was pretty special, I’m a happy man right now.
“When I made the turn. I was four under and then hit a bad tee shot on one. Terrible second shot, not a good wedge shot in and holed that for par. Then I got to three, hit two good shots on the par five, just short of the green, hit a terrible chip shot and holed that and thought ‘this is going pretty good’. Then I had a terrible shot on eight and holed a 50-60 footer.
“I hit my irons well, but didn’t hit it well off the tee. I hit about three or four fairways. I guess I got lucky and missed in the correct spots and managed to hit some good iron shots out of there and putted well. It was definitely the putter. I think I had about 20 putts today – that helps.
“We’ve been very fortunate on our side of the draw. Conditions finishing up here were pretty good, not much wind and we saw the sun for a couple of holes. We’ve been very fortunate and the same story yesterday. I didn’t feel that comfortable yesterday, I played okay but I wasn’t thinking nine or ten under – you rarely are. That’s how the round progressed and I felt very confident. It seemed every time I lined the putter up I felt I could make it.”
Calum Hill: “I’m pretty happy. I’ve been solid, saved myself nicely and made a lot of good five to seven footers when I had to. It’s been good.
“It was tricky (the wait). I haven’t done this before, but I came down at about midday and practiced for an hour and a half. I putted for 45 minutes and hit a bucket of balls. I felt that it kept the mundaneness before three thirty at bay, I didn’t stop after 11:30, so it was nice. It didn’t feel too bad.
“All day I didn’t hit a handful of great shots in a row but I was very patient, made the saves I needed to and took advantage of the ones where I hit it close. Pretty happy with the ‘B’ game today.”
Justin Walters: “I don’t know – other than just playing solid golf. I putted really well, I just did everything well and was able to get through the tough holes and the holes you could get after, I did. A couple of bonuses here and there, but overall I just held my mental side of the game. Approached it the same way and committed to everything. When things are really tough you can’t compute everything to a fine detail and go with a gut feeling and commit to that. This time it worked out really nicely.”
Santiago Tarrio: “The first holes were very tough with a lot of wind. It got easier to play as the wind went down a little bit and the course became easier. For me, it was another good day with my putting and up and downs. The rest of my game is okay. Tomorrow is another day and I hope I can make a lot of more birdies.”
All images Copyright © 2021 Matt Hooper Photography
Words courtesy the European Tour
Hill races ahead to take Hero Open lead

Calum Hill carded the lowest round of his European Tour career as he took a one stroke lead at the Hero Open.
One of the day’s early starters, the 26-year-old made the most of benign conditions as he signed for a bogey free round of 63, setting a new course record in the process on the Torrance Course at Fairmont St Andrews.
Searching for a maiden European Tour victory, Hill is one of 17 players in the field bidding to become the first Scottish winner on home soil since Paul Lawrie in 2012. He sits one stroke ahead of Scandinavian Mixed winner Jonathan Caldwell of Northern Ireland.
Caldwell carded seven birdies and an eagle as he signed for an eight under par 64, one stroke clear of Ross Fisher of England, American Chase Hanna and Robin Sciot-Siegrist of France.
In a share of sixth on six under par are Chris Paisley, Alvaro Quiros and Nicolai von Dellingshausen.
Player Quotes
Calum Hill: “I putted well. I didn’t put it in places that caused me too much bother – I did make my fair share of putts. One really good 15-footer on number one to save par and a lot of mid-range putts for birdies.
“We got the best part of (the weather) 100 per cent. Our front nine was relatively calm, probably half a club wind, then back nine picked up. We got three quarters of our day in quite pleasant conditions, I think it’s just getting worse from here – we took advantage.
“I really enjoy it (playing at home). There’s a lot of family and friends who can come and watch, I always enjoy playing in front of people I know. It makes it good fun.”
Jonathan Caldwell: “Delighted. Especially with recent form, it hasn’t been so good. Delighted that a bit of the work I’ve done over the last week or so with my coach at home is paying off. Hopefully I can keep going forward.
“I played well in Sweden, I had the week off after and came straight back out and played Germany. I played okay but didn’t feel it was quite there. Then you’re always looking for something. It’s like a pendulum, you go one way with something and you’ve got to get back to where you were. Slowly getting back to where I was from Sweden form.
“I’m not changing to get better, just to maintain. You work on one thing and it works for a week or two then you over-do that and have to find a way to get back. It’s a bit of a pendulum, you just have to find that medium, hopefully with the work I’ve done the last week or two it’s starting to turn a corner again.”
Ross Fisher: “Solid play. I drove it nicely off the tee. I hit it in one fairway bunker but fortunately that was on a par five and I managed to get up and down for a five. Steady golf, gave myself plenty of looks at birdie and managed to hole a few putts, which is nice.
“I did hear someone say you wanted an early-late. Looking at the forecast, we’ll get the better of the weather. But in Scotland in this little corner it can miss you. The forecast for the rest of the week doesn’t look too promising, but hopefully that’ll change. I’m delighted to go out and shoot a nice bogey-free seven under.”
Chase Hanna: “It’s good. When you take a week off you’re afraid you might stall your momentum, thankfully I kept that going today. Tee to green was awesome, so hopefully I can keep that going.
“This is somewhat similar to Celtic Manor. A ball-strikers course. It’s a links course but it’s fairly wide off the tee. When there’s no wind, scores will be pretty low – wind is the defence. I played the last six to eight holes in good wind and took advantage of the calm at the start of the day.”
Robin Sciot-Siegrist: “It’s a great start. I played pretty good, but I really putted really well. It was really hot and the conditions were okay compared to what’s going to happen. I think I wanted to make the most of it and it actually went my way, it’s very nice to start like that.
"It got tricky just towards the end. A couple of holes will be quite difficult, you need to be strategic with that wind and hang in there.”
All images Copyright © 2021 Matt Hooper Photography
Words courtesy the European Tour
Tournament Preview
Richie Ramsay is delighted to be teeing it up on home soil once again as the European Tour returns to Scotland for its second of three events on the 2021 Race to Dubai at this week’s Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews.
The 38-year-old recorded his best result at the Scottish Open in five years last month, finishing in a share of 15th, and hopes to carry that momentum into this week’s event in the historic town of St Andrews.
Ramsay is one of 17 Scotsmen in the field, joined by the likes of 2014 Ryder Cup player and winner of the 2019 Hero Indian Open Stephen Gallacher and fellow European Tour winners Scott Jamieson, David Law and Marc Warren.
The next generation of Scottish stars are also well represented this week in Fife, with Grant Forrest, Calum Hill, Liam Johnston and Connor Syme among those going in search of maiden victories on the European Tour
Returning to the site of his Scottish Championship presented by AXA victory last year is Spaniard Adrian Otaegui, who carded rounds of 62-70-70-63 to win his first strokeplay title on the European Tour by a margin of four shots.
Player Quotes
Richie Ramsay: “I’m really happy with how I’ve been playing. The start of the season was a bit slow, but I showed a lot of patience and perseverance. It was easy to get frustrated with the form at the start, but I took the view that I need to be the best I can be every day and just try and stick with that and enjoy that process.
“I’ve reaped the rewards of that in playing well at the Irish and Scottish. A steady week in Wales. I just need to watch the expectations don’t get too high and I stay in that nice, patient process where I’m positive. The three Ps. Try and get into the mix on Sunday and put myself there or thereabouts and have a shot to win.”
David Law: “I’m feeling good. I’m excited. It’s always nice to play in Scotland. It was the first time we came to this golf course last year and I really enjoyed it. The weather is a little different to what it was last October, hopefully it’ll continue like this.
"You need to putt well. There’s plenty of chances out there if you give yourself the opportunity. It’s more of a second shot golf course, iron play needs to be good. There’s a couple of tough tee shots, but it’s not overly demanding off the tee, it suits the guys who are good iron players and good putters.”
Connor Syme: “I’ve been up here quite a few times and had a few looks at the course over the course of the year. My friend Jordan is a member up here as well, we’ve managed to come up for a few knocks which is nice. It’s always nice to play at home and I’m in my own bed.
"The scoring was really low last year, I thought it would be 16 or 17 under but Adrian ended up shooting 23 under which is an amazing score. I don’t think it’s quite as firm and the rough isn’t quite as thick as last year, but it still has the same challenges around the greens. It’s very much off the tee, as the case is with most links courses, just getting in play off the tee and you’ll have some chances. The course is setting up well.”
Adrian Otaegui: “I have really good memories and feelings. With this weather it’s a dream to be back and very nice to get the feeling back from playing the course, walking the holes again. Awesome views today with this good weather. I’m very happy to be back here at the Fairmont.
"It was very satisfying, the way the whole week went, the way I managed it. A very, very good first round. The second and third rounds were very important, they were only two under rounds, but that was key. I didn’t play my best, as good as Thursday and Sunday, but I still managed to shoot under par, keep up there on the leaderboard and a very good final day gave me the win. I was very pleased with the way I played and the way I managed the week.”
Words courtesy the European Tour

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