Hero Open: Grant Forrest dedicates 'dream' first European Tour title to late dad

Grant Forrest is embraced by girlfriend Christy Farrell after his victory
Grant Forrest was embraced by girlfriend Christy Farrell after his victory
Hero Open final leaderboard
-24 G Forrest (Sco); -23 J Morrison (Eng); -21 S Tarrio (Spa); -20 C Hill (Sco), D Law (Sco); -17 C Hanna (USA), M Jordan (Eng)
Selected others: -16 N Kearney (Ire); -15 C Paisley (Eng), G Porteous (Eng); -12 R Ramsay (Sco); -11 O Farr (Wal)

Grant Forrest revealed his late dad, Graeme, was "the big inspiration" behind his first European Tour title after a thrilling Hero Open finale.

The 28-year-old Scot says there were a few tears among the 30-odd family members at St Andrews to support him.

A fine birdie-birdie finish allowed Forrest to overtake James Morrison and edge out the Englishman by one stroke.

"I just wish my dad was here to see this - he would be so chuffed," Forrest said.

"Losing my dad in 2012 was a big change in our lives and it's not an easy thing to deal with. I've just put a lot of my focus into golf, but he's been the big inspiration and the reason I've knuckled down when the times were tough."

Forrest becomes the first Scot to win on home soil on the tour since Paul Lawrie at the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles and he said it made it more special to win in front of his family and friends.

"The last year and a half has been a real challenge on and off the course, so I'm just delighted," he said.

"We've been through quite a lot as a family and, to do it here, it's what I've always dreamed of to win on the European Tour."

Morrison carded a closing 63 to set the target at 23 under par and lead by one as Forrest stood on the 17th tee, but the Haddington-based Scot picked up two strokes to finish with a 66 and take the title.

Forrest started the day in a share of the lead with compatriot Calum Hill and, for a large part of the final round, it was a head-to-head between the two friends.

However, when Hill was forced to drop after finding a bush with his second at the tenth to double bogey, Forrest holed a 15-foot putt for birdie to secure a three-shot swing and steal the momentum.

Spaniard Santiago Tarrio birdied two of his last three holes in a bogey-free 68 to finish on 21 under, a shot clear of Hill and another Scotsman, David Law.

A winner of the 2010 Scottish Boys and 2012 Scottish Amateur Championship, Forrest admits it he has "had to make a lot of changes and improvements to my game to get to this point" in the professional ranks.

His victory in his 77th event will move him into the top 200 in the world rankings and the top 40 on the European Tour's Race to Dubai.

Meanwhile, Forrest tipped Hill to break his own European Tour duck soon.

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