Grant Forrest at Al hamra Golf Club, Ras Al Khaimah Image Credit: Matthew Smith/Gulf News

Scotland’s Grant Forrest has some fond memories of Al Hamra Golf Club in Ras Al Khaimah. He has returned to the course where he secured his card for the then European Tour — and he is eyeing another title at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship.

Forrest was one of four Scots to win their Tour card in November 2018, along with Robert MacIntyre, Liam Johnston and David Law, and the 28-year-old is keen to add to the Hero Open he won in St Andrews back at home in Scotland last year.

“There are some tough holes out here — I remember now,” Forrest told Gulf News in an exclusive chat after his three-under 69 on Thursday. “I had already locked up my card for the European Tour by the tine we came here last time so I was able to relax and get into the top 10. It wasn’t too stressful and the boys and I could celebrate the four of us moving up from the Challenge Tour.”

Following on from the $8 million DP World Tour events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Forrest admits that there is a more casual air in RAK this week after rubbing shoulders with the likes of Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland over the past two competitions. “This is certainly a challenging course when the wind picks up in the afternoon, and it has a bit of a different feel from the Rolex Series events we just finished down the road,” Forrest said.

“We still have such a strong field here with $2 million up for grabs, and everyone in the field will feel like they should have a chance if they can get a couple of good rounds together.”

There is also some vast experience in the RAK field with the likes of Colin Montgomerie, Padraig Harrington and Thomas Bjorn lining up along with the youngsters. “Maybe they don’t hit it as far as they used to, but Monty and those other guys have achieved things we can only dream of. and we all want to learn from them, that is why they are so important to us,” Forrest added.

With the RAK Classic still to come in the emirate next week, there will be plenty of chances to shine on his old hunting ground.