COUNTY golf star Grant Forrest is hoping to build on the best professional result of his career so far in the Open de Portugal this week.

Last month, the North Berwick ace finished tied for fifth in the Turkish Airlines Challenge – his best finish since turning pro last season. 

That booked him a place among the field for this week's event in the Algarve, which gets under way tomorrow (Thursday). 

And ahead of the biggest event on the Road to Oman, the 23-year-old reflected on his performance in Turkey last month. 

He said: "I’m definitely feeling confident after Turkey.

"I had a top five there and didn’t feel like I putted all that well so it’s good to know I can compete at this level and there are a lot of positives to take going forward.

“It’s changed my outlook for the year because I don’t have a very good category and am slightly relying on invites, so if I can get a few really good finishes it’s a big boost, and two or three good weeks can then change everything for the rest of the season.

Forrest admits he was "really fortunate" to play in five Challenge Tour events last year, to prepare himself for his first full professional season.

The winner of the Open De Portugal will secure a European Tour exemption until the end of 2018, while there is also a €500,000 total prize fund – the highest on the Challenge Tour this year.


East Lothian Courier:

And the county ace (pictured above; pic courtesy Turkish Airlines) is keen to make the most of prestigious company at Morgado Golf Resort, with the event enjoying shared status with the European Tour.

He said: "Paul [Lawrie] is a Major champion, a Ryder Cup player, but there are all sorts of guys and you just try to learn from them.

“I played nine holes with Oliver Wilson yesterday (Tuesday) and he’s a Ryder Cup player, previously top 50 in the world, and we were just chatting to him and trying to learn from the guys who have been at the top levels.

“It definitely helps being around these guys and just keeping your eyes open, seeing how guys who have been there and done that go about their games, and if they’re doing anything different just picking up stuff like that, but it’s a great environment to be learning in.

“It’s also good that there are a lot of Scottish guys out here and I don’t think we get enough credit that we deserve as a country for how many guys we have out on the European Tour and the Challenge Tour.”