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Golf Alumnus Grant Forrest Qualifies for The Open Championship

Grant Forrest, a former USD golf standout and 2015 alumnus, has qualified to play in The Open Championship, July 19-22, in Carnoustie, Scotland. He previously played in it in 2013 as a USD sophomore.Grant Forrest, a former USD golf standout and 2015 alumnus, has qualified to play in The Open Championship, July 19-22, in Carnoustie, Scotland. He previously played in it in 2013 as a USD sophomore.

University of San Diego alumnus and golf standout Grant Forrest ’15 has qualified for the 147th playing of British Open, now known as The Open Championship, slated for July 19-22 at the par-71, 7,402-yard Carnoustie Championship Course in Scotland.

Forrest, who played for the USD golf program four seasons through 2015, earned his spot in tournament field with a runner-up finish in a 36-hole qualifying event on July 3. He shot rounds of 67 and 69 at The Renaissance Club’s par-71 course in East Lothian, Scotland, to earn one of three qualifying spots available.

His effort earned Forrest his second appearance at The Open Championship, one of four of professional golf’s major tournaments worldwide that features top players from the PGA Tour, European Tour and qualifying amateurs.

Forrest first qualified for the Open in 2013 as a 20-year-old amateur who was a sophomore at USD. He played two rounds in the Open, grouped with 1998 Masters and British Open champion Mark O’Meara and Australia’s Marcus Frazier, but he missed the cut. Phil Mickelson, a longtime San Diego resident, won the British Open that year.

The Muirfield course was a great place for Forrest to play his first Open because he literally lived down the street from it. Forrest has played Carnoustie, too.

“I got to the final of the (Scottish) Amateur there in 2015 and I played it a lot that week,” Forrest said in a web story by Scotland newspaper, The Courier, last week. “It’s one of my favorites courses. I feel I’ll be much better equipped now at the Open than I was five years ago. Then I was more about taking in the experience seeing that environment. This year, I feel like I could do something. When you turn up as an amateur it’s all new to you, big crowds and big attention. It’s more just being in the environment and being comfortable in that, that’s huge. Playing there and knowing you deserve to be there and you’re good enough to be there; that’s the biggest thing now.”

His confidence and growth comes from turning pro in 2016. Forrest, who resides in North Berwick, Scotland, is currently ranked ninth on the European Challenge Tour, having finished in the money in seven of nine events so far this season. He’s played a few European Tour events and is seeking a top-15 finish on the Challenge Tour to secure a European Tour card.

He turned pro following a stellar amateur career filled with wins and top performances both while at USD and in his native Scotland. Among the highlights: Forrest won the Scottish Boys' Under-16 Championship in 2009, the Scottish Boys Championship in 2010 and captured his third national title, the Scottish Amateur Championship, in 2012 following being named the WCC Freshman of the Year at USD. He earned medalist honors as a Torero in the WCC championship tournament at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash., in April 2013 and led USD’s team to an NCAA Regionals appearance. He helped Europe win the Palmer Cup, the college equivalent of the Ryder Cup in 2014, following a college season in which he won three tournaments, reached the NCA Regionals as an individual and was named WCC Golfer of the Year. In 2015, he won the St Andrews Links Trophy and reached the final of the 2015 Amateur Championship at Carnoustie and was on the European Walker Cup team.

All the accolades and experiences on a golf course have played a role in getting Forrest to where he is now, preparing for his second chance to play in golf’s oldest championship tournament.

— Ryan T. Blystone 

View a question-and-answer story with Grant Forrest from the USD Athletics website when Forrest qualified for the 2013 British Open.

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