Connor Syme takes heart from pro start ahead of qualifying challenge

Connor Syme shot 11-under for his last 26 holes on St Andrews' Old Course
Syme shot 11-under for his last 26 holes on St Andrews' Old Course

Connor Syme can look ahead to Tour Qualifying next month with confidence following an impressive beginning to life in the professional ranks.

The 22-year-old Scot finished in a tie for 15th at the Dunhill Links after a share of 12th on his pro debut in Portugal the week before.

"I'm delighted with the start but obviously there is still a long way to go," Syme told BBC Scotland.

"I'm happy with the way things are going, it cements all the hard work."

The next challenge for Syme is the second stage of the qualifying process, with players vying to reach the final six-round phase - and the 25 places available on next year's European Tour.

"There might be an opportunity for another tournament invite (to the Andalucia Valderrama Masters) but it's difficult at this stage of the year," he explained.

"Qualifying is the main focus. The second stage is a gruelling challenge over four rounds and there will be a good field assembled, so I'm certainly not getting ahead of myself.

"I'm looking forward to it and I take a lot from the last two weeks."

Syme shot a six under par final round at St Andrews on Sunday for an 11 under total and has gathered around £70,000 in prize money over the fortnight.

The 2016 Australian Amateur champion made his Open debut at Royal Birkdale in July, after coming through qualifying, and played in the Walker Cup loss to the United States in Los Angeles last month.

"It's been a great year, all geared up to turning pro from the Open," he said.

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