Connor Syme: Scot relishing European Tour return after losing card

By Tyrone SmithBBC Scotland Sport

Scotland's Connor Syme believes he now has the experience and consistency to make his mark on the European Tour 12 months after losing his card.

After a nerve-shredding finale, Syme secured his return with a 14th-place finish - one spot inside the cut-off point - in the Challenge Tour rankings.

The achievement "means everything" to the 24-year-old, who says hard lessons learned make him optimistic about the new season.

"All I can see are positives," he said.

"Myself, as well as the team, know the mistakes we made, so I am coming back with that wealth of experience.

"I am really excited to get back out there, see what I have learned and that can hopefully pay dividends."

Syme, who joined the pro ranks in 2017, admits his qualification was too close for comfort after a tie for 15th at the season-ending Challenge Tour Grand Final in Majorca got him over the line on Sunday.

"A lot of things go through your head," he said. "I had been in the top 15 all season - things like the only week of the year that you might drop out might be the last one, so it was really challenging.

"That last round was horrible, you don't really know how other people are getting on and it could all change because there was such a big prize pot.

"We were battling 50 mile an hour winds and rain and it is like a full year of work could slip away from you in one week. We are playing for our living, it is our job, and I am thrilled to get it done."

Syme is joined in stepping up to the main tour by compatriot Calum Hill, who finished second in the Challenge Tour standings.

With a runner-up spot at the 2018 Shot Clock Masters to his name, Syme has challenged for honours on the European Tour previously and feels capable of being in the mix again.

"Consistency was definitely what let me down on the European Tour, but it has been a much more consistent year on the Challenge Tour," he said.

"If I look back to my amateur career I was very consistent, especially in my last few years.

"Obviously the European Tour is a higher standard again but I have competed up at the top end of those events before, and now that I have a full year to have a go at it, there are going to be a lot of opportunities to do that."

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