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October 4, 2017

Connor Syme

Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, St Andrews, Scotland

CLARE BODEL: Welcome to the Dunhill Links Championship. You had a practise round today with Rory McIlroy. You must be pleased with your decision to go pro a little bit earlier than planned.

CONNOR SYME: Yeah, it's been a fun two weeks since Portugal and obviously getting the experience to play with Rory today, you can't buy that experience. It was absolutely brilliant to have that opportunity. It's been great since Portugal.

CLARE BODEL: You're here pretty much on your home turf staying at St. Andrews. You must be looking forward to the week.

CONNOR SYME: Yeah, all these of courses I've grown up playing and had the opportunity to play and practise last week after Portugal, so was over at Carnoustie.

Yeah, I'm familiar with St. Andrews and Kingsbarns a little bit. Yeah, it's nice to stay at home definitely. You don't get that very often playing pro golf, so it's going to be a fun week.

Q. Rory's just said a few very nice complimentary things about your game and that he doesn't see any flaws or anything. What does that mean to you?
CONNOR SYME: Yeah, it's obviously great to hear Rory talking highly about my game there. It was great to play with him. It's a great insight for me to see how he does it. He's obviously been at the top of the game for a very long time. You.

Know, it definitely means a lot to have that coming from Rory. Certainly just kind of keep on doing what I'm doing and obviously his game is a little different than mine with how far I can hit the ball. Everyone has their different strengths and you just have to stick to your own game with that.

Q. Like you, Rory came here for this event, his second professional event and won his Tour card. Did that inspire you and did Rory touch on those memories to encourage you?
CONNOR SYME: Yeah, he mentioned it going down the first. It was obviously a big steppingstone for him. I think, again, he spoke about it and how he certainly -- it was his ambition to do it but you can't really think about that sort of thing.

When it comes around, grab the opportunity with both hands. Certainly for me, I'm well a ways from thinking about that. I can only hit the first shot at Carnoustie tomorrow, and you know, that's all I'm thinking about, really. If it becomes a good week, then brilliant, but I'm looking forward to the challenge for sure.

Q. Portugal was obviously a great week, great finish, and you come here and it's a really big, big tournament, your first really big tournament as a pro. Is it hard to keep your feet on the ground a wee bit, or is somebody tapping you on the shoulder and saying, be careful?
CONNOR SYME: You know, I probably -- it's not in my personality really to kind of get too up about things. I definitely try and keep my feet on the ground, if you like. There's difficult situations, I think certainly being in The Open and stuff like that will help me this week. It's going to be a similar sort of feeling to it. It's obviously a big tournament, a home tournament for me, as well.

Again, like I was saying, I'm not even really thinking about Saturday here because where I'm playing, I can only concentrate in Carnoustie on Thursday. As long as every shot, and just focus on that and try and keep myself level, hopefully that helps me.

Q. You played here as an amateur two or three years ago, how can that help you, and also your experiences as a fan coming here?
CONNOR SYME: It's brilliant being here through the opportunities through Scottish Golf. Dunhill Links have been brilliant with us as Scottish golfers, letting us have the opportunity.

So I think that's what it's geared up to, guys coming through trying to take the next step. Hopefully I can draw on them experience, playing as an amateur and playing The Open and stuff like that. Hopefully it helps me come tomorrow with the new experience of playing as a pro. Yeah, certainly I'm really looking forward to teeing it up tomorrow.

Q. Sleeping in your own bed, is that a big thing?
CONNOR SYME: Yeah, getting your mum's home cooking, as well, it's ideal.

Q. After this, what's your kind of schedule going forward? I'm assuming that it's back to the grind of the Q-School, is it Stage 2, straight into that?
CONNOR SYME: I go straight into Stage 2. That's in November. A few weeks before that, it's kind of a bit stop/start at the minute. Obviously I don't have any status anywhere. Maybe a few invites here and there. But really, it's just all kind of geared around Stage 2. Certainly that's where my head's at. I know that's exactly where I'm playing.

Q. You were always quite comfortable making the leap quite early.
CONNOR SYME: I think it depends on your situation. I think with the management company I've signed with, Modest, are very influential; and the opportunity I've had, getting a start this week and getting a start in Portugal, it's obviously a great opportunity. I'm absolutely delighted to have played with them and have the opportunities I've had so far. I think that takes the pressure off of having nowhere to play, if you like, but still having golf to play.

Q. Looking at your time line after you finished 12th or something, or it might have been Niall Horan's time line, the number of remarks from teenage fans; were any of them for you at all?
CONNOR SYME: No, I don't think so. Niall is a great supporter of the guys. He's out here this week. He's coming from Brazil to come and support us this week. It just shows the commitment that he has with the company. It's a great company to be a part of.

Q. You're obviously playing with Rory this morning, and you will be -- Niall was walking a few holes, as well. Who was giving you the best advice?
CONNOR SYME: I was picking more Rory's brains today, but Niall has obviously got great insight and he's been helping out a lot since I became part of the management company. I've known Niall for a while and this is the first time I've met Rory, really. Getting his insights on the golf course, as well. There's a few different tees I haven't played off. It was great, Rory playing, and Niall supporting us both today.

CLARE BODEL: Thank you very much and good luck this week.

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