David Law was as good as his word in following up his strong first round score with another at the abrdn Scottish Open, but the real joy was what was waiting for him greenside as he came off.
His two-year-old daughter Penelope was waiting with a hug, wife Tasha and new baby son Joshua are also here as this is the first time spouses and families have been back at European Tour events since the pandemic.
‘I’ve struggled with that side of things’
— Paul Lawrie (@PaulLawriegolf) July 9, 2021
“It’s been brilliant,” said the 30-year-old, after signing for a second successive 67 for eight-under. “It’s something we’ve learned to appreciate and something we took for granted for such a long time.
“I was one of those guys who used to travel Tuesday or Wednesday, then home sometimes Friday or sometimes Sunday, but you’d get that couple of nights with the family, reset and go again.
“Over the last while it’s been really tough, to be honest, I’ve struggled with that side of things. Especially having a young daughter, Tasha was pregnant, so that side of things was really difficult.
“So this week to have them here, has made a huge difference. You’re not sitting about the room alone thinking about golf all the time, you don’t get the chance, fortunately!”
‘A kick up the backside’ at the first
But the golf was pretty good as well, and Law admitted he got a “kick up the backside” on the first hole that got him in order.
“I holed a 20 footer for bogey on the first, and that was actually massive,” he said. “You start with a six and you’re going to think it could go the other way. Instead I got going and I came away with a decent score, even if the course was completely different today.”
The putting has been the difference, with a slight change of angle at address helping “hit miles better putts” than in Ireland last week.
Forrest following up on Ireland
Grant Forrest knew when he the wind switched from the east over The Renaissance that things were going to get tough, and he ground his way in for a 70 and five-under at the halfway point.
The 28-year-old grew up over the wall at Archerfield, now lives in Haddington and knows the course as well as anyone. With his entire family present this week it’s neatly coincided with his best form for two seasons, and he’s now made the cut in all three editions of the Scottish Open here.
“It was a bit of a battle today,” he said. “There were some tricky pins and the course is always a bit tougher in an east wind, as we had out there.
“It makes three of the par-5s a bit tougher, all into the wind but for the 16th. Even if you hit a good tee shot, you can still be pushing a 3-wood to get on.
“I made a couple of sloppy mistakes and a couple of breaks didn’t go our way. But I battled well and made a couple of good up and downs from the sand towards the end.”
‘I feel more optimistic’
The fourth place in Ireland last week makes him feel confident about pushing on at the weekend.
“It is good to have continued the form from last week. I felt I had turned a bit of a corner a few weeks ago with my game,” he said. “I feel a bit more optimistic about it.
“In a field this strong, I’m not in a bad position. If we have a good weekend, we’ll see what happens.”
Having his mum, sister, girlfriend and all the family makes it even better.
“This is the first event my mum’s been to in a year and a half. My sister’s back from uni and just got out of isolation last week. It’s so good to see them out there and all the fans, having all the support really helps.”
MacIntyre, Ramsay, Syme and Hill also make the weekend
Robert MacIntyre bided his time to pull away from the cut mark but did so with aplomb. He holed a birdie putt at the last and had three in the last six to finish on five-under.
“We saw the weather change just before we went out. You knew it would be tough, but I stayed patient today,” he said.
Despite the growing chill, the Oban boy refused to switch from his shirt sleeves. Both playing partners Lee Westwood and Collin Morikawa were in their new age golf hoodies.
26 feet – Bob MacIntyre
22 feet – Lee Westwood
21 feet – Collin Morikawa
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 9, 2021
“I’m a tough West Coaster, even though I was thinking about having to put another layer on,” he admitted. “I couldn’t have one of them though. I cannae have a hoodie hitting me around the ears…it’s bad enough with the hair!”
Richie Ramsay, who was tied for fourth with Forrest in Ireland, will be there for the weekend.
He added a par 71 to his first round 67 for a four-under total. Drumoig’s Connor Syme also had a par round of 71 to make the weekend on four-under. Calum Hill just came though the cut line at two-under.