Alastair Forsyth enjoyed 15 memorable years on the European Tour and is thrilled to see the next crop of talented young Scottish players making their big breakthrough.
The Glaswegian, who turned professional in 1998, won two tournaments during his time on the circuit and has been impressed with the recent conveyor belt of fresh-faced future stars.
Nine Scots will tee it up during this week’s Rolex Series event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club, with a prize fund of £8million dollars.
Forsyth admits having some course knowledge will be of great benefit and has tipped several in-form Scots to thrive in one of the tour’s flagship events of the season.
He said: “You would be looking at guys with a bit of previous experience round this golf course. Wentworth is a very challenging course, and it certainly helps to have a good bit of local knowledge behind you.
“The Glasgow pair of Scott Jamieson and Marc Warren have played round here plenty of times before, so they must be well positioned to have a good week.”
Jamieson arrives on the back of finishing in a tie for eighth place at last week’s Italian Open in Rome.
The now Florida-based player, who won the Nelson Mandela Championship in December 2012, is searching for his second win after several near-misses in recent seasons.
Jamieson missed the cut in this event last year after carding rounds of 75 and 73 but will be eager to ensure he is firmly in contention come Sunday afternoon this time round.
The 37-year-old can draw on inspiration from the recent tour victories of fellow Scots’ duo Grant Forrest at the Hero Open and Calum Hill at the Cazoo Classic.
Rising sensation Forrest ended a ten-year wait for a Scottish winner on the European Tour with the last coming in August 2012 as Paul Lawrie triumphed in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
Paisley-based Forsyth is adamant the Scottish Golf scene is in the strongest shape it has potentially ever been.
He admitted: “For a few years now we’ve had players on the bubble starting to break through and perform well on the main tour.
“Guys like Forrest, Hill and Robert MacIntyre, who is now mixing it with the world’s best players in America and on the verge of the Ryder Cup team, are prime examples of the talent emerging.
“The strength and depth of the European Tour nowadays compared to when I was playing, is improving all the time.
“We’re producing a very good batch of youngsters and I think when one player wins a tournament, it definitely inspires others.
“Calum Hill, for example, had been knocking on the door for a while. His results were excellent, but he couldn’t quite get over the line until last month. People maybe don’t realise how difficult it is to beat 150 of the best players in the world.
“However, when Grant Forrest won on the Fairmont course in St. Andrews, it perhaps gave guys like Calum a wee boost and that bit of extra self-belief as if to say ‘if he can win then why can’t I?’.
“There’s a few boys on the Challenge Tour just now that will also make the step up.”
Asked to nominate one Scottish player to watch out for in years to come, Forsyth was bullish in his praise of Glasgow-born Ewen Ferguson, who is enjoying a stellar year on the Challenge Tour.
The Bearsden player has six top-ten finishes to his name so far this season, including a hat-trick of runners-up spots in Spain, Austria and Denmark.
He admitted: “Without a shadow of a doubt Ewen Ferguson will move on to the European Tour next term.
“I’m actually a tad surprised he hasn’t broken through yet but he’s part of that group blessed with an abundance of talent.
“He’s still relatively young at 25 and I can see him more than hold his own on the main tour once he gets his foot in the door.
“He’s been part of a winning Walker Cup team alongside Grant Forrest in 2015 and enjoyed great success as an amateur.
“Connor Syme is another player almost at that level as well, so I think Scottish golf is in the strongest place we’ve been in for a long, long time.”