The SGU's talented band of young Scots amateurs have continued their excellent start to 2014 by winning the European Nations Cup at Sotogrande in Spain.
Led by coach Ian Rae, the SGU quartet of Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie), Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie), Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie), and Scott Borrowman (Dollar) took the title to start the 2014 season in style.
The Scots held off 16 other countries to win the prestigious trophy for the first time since 2008, defeating Italy in a play-off, just weeks after beating South Africa to the Leopard Trophy.
Blairgowrie teenager Neil was the hero on a dramatic final day, as the in-form player saw off Renato Paratore with a birdie at the second extra hole.
Neil also secured a share of second place in the individual event after rounds of 71, 71, 76 and 72, three strokes behind Italian winner Guido Migliozzi, as the reigning Scottish Boys champion continued his superb start to the year. He is yet to finish outside the top three in competition in 2014 and should climb into the top 100 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings when they are next updated.
The Scots’ excellent start to the year should go some way to quieting the doubters who rounded on the players and coaching staff following a dismal 2013 season, capped by the failure of a Scotsman to play in the Walker Cup for the first time since 1949.
"The win shows the depth we now have, which is pleasing" - Ian Rae
“It’s been a brilliant week and we’re delighted to win a great event,” said coach Rae afterwards. “The guys played nicely all four rounds and we just hung in there. It was windy most of the week so conditions were difficult.
“Everyone played their part, maintained a course strategy. The players were first class, none more so than Graeme Robertson, who was our last player to come in. He had to produce a score when it counted and he made two great pars on the 17th and 18th; an awesome performance.
“Individually, Bradley also continued his great start to the season, as did Jack. Bradley showed great nerve to win the play-off.”
With US-based players like Grant Forrest, now world-ranked 39, and James Ross both missing from the team, Rae feels the win shows a growing pool of talent in Scottish amateur golf.
“We were without our highest-ranked player and other players based in the US,” added Rae. “The win shows the depth we now have, which is pleasing.”
Scots on a roll: your thoughts
What do you make of the young Scots’ start to the season? Which player excites you the most? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below.