Grant Forrest Claims Maiden European Tour Title On Home Soil

Grant Forrest Claims Maiden European Tour Title On Home Soil

Grant Forrest Hero Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Grant Forrest produced a birdie-birdie finish to claim a one-shot win and his first European Tour title at the Hero Open.

Grant Forrest Claims Maiden European Tour Title On Home Soil

With two holes remaining, it looked like the 28-year-old would miss out on his first title as James Morrison birdied the last to lead by one shot.

Forrest, however, would hit a stunning approach on the par-3 17th to near gimme range; with a closing birdie at the last securing the win by just a single stroke.

The victory at St Andrews (opens in new tab) means that Forrest becomes the first player from Scotland to win on home soil since Paul Lawrie in 2012.

"We've been through quite a lot as a family this year and to win a European Tour event here is what I've always dreamed of."

After shooting a stunning 62 in his third round, Forrest started in a share of the lead going into the final day with fellow countryman Calum Hill.

Grant Forrest Hero Open

Forrest produced 11 birdies in his third round. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

It was Hill though who started the better of the two, with two birdies and an eagle over his first six holes putting him two ahead.

Then came a huge momentum swing over the next four holes, as Forrest made three birdies at the 8th, 10th and 11th whilst his rival would bogey the 9th and double the 10th.

As Forrest pulled clear of Hill, his nearest challenger was now Englishman James Morrison, who was flying along on the back nine with five consecutive birdies from the 11th to the 15th putting him just one shot back of the leader.

Those positions were soon reversed, as Morrison made a classy birdie at the last for a closing round 63. Forrest would three-putt the 16th for bogey.

With Morrison in the clubhouse at 23-under, his opponent needed to birdie the last two for the win, and his tee shot on the 17th was the ideal start as his laser like approach never left the flag.

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Tapping in for birdie, Forrest moved onto the 72nd hole, once again launching his tee shot along a frozen rope and down the centre of the fairway.

Two blows later, the Scot was faced with a short birdie putt for the win, duly knocking it in to much fanfare and excitement from the Scottish galleries.

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"There's so many emotions right now. To do it in front of everybody whose come up (to watch) is amazing. The last 18 months have been a real challenge, on and off the course, so I'm just delighted and it will take a while to sink in.

"I hit a poor shot into 16. I was trying to play it safe and then I three-putted. I saw the scoreboard and knew what I needed to do.

"The one big thing was just one shot at a time and I hit a great nine-iron into 17 which was nice and close and then two great shots at the 18th helped secure it."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x