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Nairn golfer looks forward to taking on best in the world at The Open

By Will Clark

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Calum Scott.
Calum Scott.

CALUM Scott says he is relishing the prospect of taking on the best golfers in the world after qualifying for The Open.

The 20-year-old from Nairn will play in one of golf’s major tournaments after he finished in top spot in the Open Amateur Series.

He will now take part in the 152nd Open which is being held at Royal Troon in Ayrshire which starts on Thursday, July 18 and hopes to make the cut to reach the final round on Sunday, July 21.

Scott secured his place at The Open by finishing in fourth place in the European Amateur Championship in Denmark last week with seven under par.

It was enough to earn him top spot in the overall Open Amateur Series.

Scott was aware of what was required of him to take top spot and qualify for The Open and was pleased to secure his place with a confident performance.

He said: “I knew I had to play well and finish in the top five to definitely secure a spot.

“There were a lot of what could happen sort of things during the competition.

“If I didn’t play well, someone could have got it, so the place was up for grabs.

“I had to play well to secure my spot and there were unanswered questions going into the final round. I tried not to get it in my mind too much.

“It was an amazing feeling and it hasn’t sunk in yet. I am not sure whether it will until I actually get on to the site and do my stuff.”

The former Nairn Academy pupil is currently in his final year studying sports management at Texas Tech University in the United States as he combines his studies with his golf career.

He said qualifying for The Open later this month has given him confidence to think about turning professional once he has completed his studies next year.

He said: “This my last year at college, after that, I think it could be the time to turn professional.

“Qualifying for The Open gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of my amateur career. How far I have come to get to this point and to play a major at just 20.”

While playing at top amateur events during his young career, Scott says nothing he has taken part in before will come close to competing at The Open.

He is looking forward to taking to the fairways in the same events as world class players such as Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler.

He said: “I have played at nothing like The Open, I have only played at top amateur events during my career.

“I have never played in an event close to a major.

“I just need to get prepared for it, I have two tournaments coming up with the Arnold Palmer Cup and the European Team Event in Italy.

“I am just going to have some fun in the next two weeks, but the focus will be The Open and it should be a very exciting week. There is a lot at stake, but more so for the professionals than for me. But it will be an unbelievable experience.

“There are a few names that I could think of that I would like to play rounds with. It will be amazing to play in the same competition as Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler and Tiger Woods. Whoever I am playing with, I will be happy as I will be there.”

Scott says he has never played at Royal Troon, but hopes that his experience of competing in Scotland can stand him in good stead for the tournament.

He said: “I have played around that area, but never at Royal Troon.

“It is a Scottish links golf course and bunkers will be penalising and I definitely want to avoid them. But it will be dependent on the weather.”

Nairn golfer Calum Scott.
Nairn golfer Calum Scott.

Scott has two competitions to play in before The Open in two weeks’ time.

They include the Arnold Palmer Cup which takes place at Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland on Friday.

He will also be representing Scotland at the European Amateur Team Championship on Tuesday, July 9.

After those two competitions, Scott says he hopes to be in contention to win the Silver Medal at The Open which is given to the leading amateur at the Championship.

But he is just looking forward to competing with the best in the world and is determined to put in a good performance.

“Managing to win the Silver Medal would make it a great week,” he said.

“But I want to just try and get myself up the leaderboard and give myself a chance of doing well.

“It would be great to do the best I can. Whether that is a top-20 finish, scraping the cut or even pulling off a miracle and win it.

“Just to be the best amateur there or put myself in contention for the Silver Medal would be cool.”

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