European Tour newcomers Grant Forrest and Liam Johnston have both secured a first Rolex Series appearance after joining four fellow Scots in the field for next week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
The duo have both moved above the cut-off line for the $7 million event at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, with the two other Scots to graduate from the Challenge Tour last season tantalisingly close to joining them.
Bob MacIntyre, who finished joint-15th in both the South African Open and the Alfred Dunhill Championship before the festive break is second reserve, with David Law up to fourth on the standby list.
“I’m delighted to have got in to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship,” admitted Forrest, who secured his main Tour card through finishing seventh in the Challenge Tour’s Road to Ras Al Khaimah.
“Even with the six extra spots from last year, I fully didn’t expect to get in as it’s now a Rolex event. I’m now looking forward to a week of practice in Dubai and hope to kick off 2019 with a good result.”
Stephen Gallacher, David Drysdale, Scott Jamieson and Richie Ramsay are the other Scots set to start their calendar year campaigns in the UAE next Wednesday.
At the moment, only two-time winner Gallacher, Drysdale and Jamieson are above the cut-off mark for the following week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, though Ramsay is first reserve for the 30th staging of that event.
For the Challenge Tour graduates, the only way in other than a top-10 finish is likely to be through a 36-hole shoot-out. It takes place at Dubai Hills on 20-21 January, with the top three earning spots in the line up at Emirates Golf Club.