Scottish amateur Connor Syme 'buzzing' ahead of his Open debut

Connor Syme
Amateur Connor Syme is playing in his first Open
2017 Open Championship on the BBC
Venue: Royal Birkdale Dates: 20-23 July
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Scottish amateur Connor Syme cannot wait to make the transition from spectator to player when he tees up at the Open Championship on Thursday.

The 22-year-old Fifer is playing in his first major after coming through the final qualifying series at Gailes Links to earn his spot at Royal Birkdale.

"I have been to many Opens in the past but to be part of one is amazing," he told BBC Scotland.

"I'm buzzing, it is another level from where I have been before."

Syme is making his first visit to the Lancashire course and says his excitement is building with every practice round.

"I guess you get familiar with seeing everything," he added. "You expect the big grandstands but it is different when you are playing.

"I practised yesterday with Tommy Fleetwood and had the butterflies going on the first tee even then.

John Daly
John Daly won the Open in 1995 and the PGA Championship in 1991

"I had a lovely round with Paul Lawrie today and it was just brilliant. Really good fun. I have met Paul a few times over the years but that was the first time I have had a long decent chat. He is such a nice guy. Obviously he became Open champion in 1999 and I was asking him about that and how he won. That was cool."

Last week Syme was in Austria representing Scotland in the European Amateur team championships and says this was a welcome distraction with such a big week ahead of him.

"It gave me something else to focus on, which was quite nice. It was really good to be away with the Scottish team in Austria. I came here and started the preparations at Birkdale on Monday."

Australian Adam Bland and former Open champion John Daly make up the three ball with Syme for the opening two rounds.

The Scot was only 12 days old when Daly lifted the Claret Jug at St Andrews in 1995, but he has been catching up on the USA star's heroics.

"I have obviously seen the footage," Syme added. "He did well to win it and he went on to win another major as well. It will be brilliant to play with John Daly. Obviously [he is] a big hitter and I don't think I will be trying to keep up with him, but it will be good fun."

Syme won the Australian amateur Championship last year and revealed he is likely to wait until the end of next year before turning professional.

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