On his way up the pro golf ladder, young Scotsman Rory Franssen makes his second appearance in 2023 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship alongside amateur partner and Captain of the R&A Neil Donaldson.
Rory’s golf journey has been helped by Scottish Golf which the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation supports each year. The association provides funding for young golfers like Franssen to progress their golfing abilities, including the opportunity to compete in South Africa every winter, a notably warmer experience than playing in Scotland.
After playing as an amateur in 2021, Franssen is back as a pro just two years later. The 24-year-old Scot said, “I’m taking it all in and enjoying playing in Scotland, which makes things a little more relaxed.”
Despite only turning pro in 2022, Franssen will be one to watch after his win in the Tartan Pro Tour Event in St Andrews in May this year.
Reflecting on his past Alfred Dunhill Links experience, Franssen said he has taken inspiration from his playing partners.
“When I played here as an amateur in 2021 I spent a lot of time observing my pro partner Ricardo Santos who is really talented. We missed the cut, but it was inspiring to see his range of different shots including how he played into the wind.
“I also played with Connor Syme at Kingsbarns and I remembered him not having a great start, but he was so calm like nothing bad had happened. His demeanour stayed so level and he ended up getting back on track and playing okay. Just watching these guys has been really useful and I continue to try and imitate how they play the game.”
Now he has turned pro, Rory has the benefit of experience and can compare playing the Alfred Dunhill Links as both an amateur and a professional golfer.
“It’s very different now than when I was playing two years ago but the experience has definitely prepared me for this environment. Obviously, this time we’re playing for money so I’m focusing a lot more but I’m just taking it all in and enjoying playing in Scotland, which makes things a little more relaxed for me.
“I really want to stay out here full time and hopefully be good enough to win big tournaments one day.”
Inverness-born but now residing in Auchterarder, Perthshire, Rory received a golfing scholarship to study at the University of Missouri and graduated in 2020. 2022 saw him competing in the Scottish Men’s Amateur Championship and the World Amateur Team Championship and only a year later Rory returns as a professional in the Alfred Dunhill Links.
“Playing in this event has been a massive opportunity for me - I’m really grateful to the team at Alfred Dunhill and keen to make the most of it.”