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New look of Scottish golf

Liam Johnston, 24, and Connor Syme, 22, tee up in the Alfred Dunhill Links this week as Scotland’s newest professionals.

It will be Johnston’s first pro event and Syme’s second, following his debut in the Portugal Masters, where he finished impressively in a tie for 12th.

Earlier in the year Johnston and Syme were in a group of young Scottish golfers who travelled to South Africa for competition and warm weather training, thanks to support Scottish Golf received from the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation and Aberdeen Asset Management.

The young Scots dominated the African Amateur Strokeplay Championship at Leopard Creek, with Johnston winning and Syme taking second. They also won the team competition for the Leopard Trophy.

Johnston said: “I can’t begin to describe how amazing it felt. I hope it paid back all the support my family and my coach James Erskine have given me and the trust Scottish Golf, Aberdeen Asset Management and Alfred Dunhill and Mr Johann Rupert placed in me, bringing me out with the National Squad to South Africa.”

The last time Syme played in the Alfred Dunhill Links, it was in 2014, when he was just 19, and he played as an amateur.

He said: “I will never forget that. It gave me a real taste of the big time and made me even more determined to become a professional. So to be able to return to the Dunhill three years on, as a pro, is a dream come true.”

Scotland’s Leopard Trophy winners (left-to-right) Craig Ross, Connor Syme, Ian Rae (National Coach), Liam Johnston and Craig Howie.