• "It was a special year for me," said the Ryder Cup star
• Kylie Walker and Bradley Neil also recognised at the event
STEPHEN GALLACHER | SCOTTISH GOLF AWARDS
Stephen Gallacher capped a fantastic 2014 by scooping the Player of the Year award at last night’s star-studded Scottish Golf Awards.
The 40-year-old, who fulfilled his dream of playing at the Ryder Cup in September, received a standing ovation from a packed Edinburgh Corn Exchange as he collected the gong from last year’s recipient and No.1 female Catriona Matthew.
As well as being part of that winning European team, the Scottish No.1 also successfully defended his Dubai Desert Classic title and moved up from No.66 in the world rankings to No.35.
Speaking at the awards, Gallacher reflected on a brilliant year for Scottish golf and paid tribute to the nation’s golf fans.
"It was a special year for me in 2014, one that will be hard to beat" - Stephen Gallacher
He said: “It was wonderful to collect the award in front of my friends, family and fellow players. It was also great to receive such a brilliant ovation from Scotland’s golf fans, who have again turned out in fantastic numbers for the awards.
“It was a special year for me in 2014, one that will be hard to beat, but I’m working hard to achieve more and look forward to competing in all four major championships this year, starting at the Masters in a couple of weeks’ time.
“To win this award in such a memorable year for Scottish golf, with so many other players achieving great success, is even more special. I’d like to congratulate all the other winners, as well as the SGU and SLGA for putting on a superb event that really showcases all the great things about our game.”
bunkered tuition panel member Kevin Craggs narrowly missed out on the inaugural Bob Torrance PGA Coach of the Year award, which went to Alan McCloskey from Bothwell Castle GC.
Fittingly, Sam Torrance was there to present the award in memory of his late father, with McCloskey a worthy recipient after a hugely successful year coaching leading Scottish golfers Gallacher, Marc Warren and Scott Jamieson.
Elsewhere, Kylie Walker won the Inspiration Award after her two breakthrough wins on the Ladies European Tour in 2014, while Augusta-bound Bradley Neil collected the prestigious Amateur Golfer of the Year and the SGU Men’s Order of Merit title.
Troon’s Connie Jaffrey was another notable double winner on the night, receiving both the SLGA Ladies and Girls Order of Merit awards, while Cawder’s Calum Fyfe became the fourth recipient of the Adam Hunter Award, along with the SGU Boys Order of Merit crown.
Those involved at grassroots level were also given their moment in the spotlight, with Borders club Peebles triumphant in the RBS Junior Club of the Year, before Maitland Pollock (Lochmaben) and Evan Sutherland (Reay) shared the RBS Volunteer of the Year award, recognising their work in developing golf in their respective local communities.
"The event provides a great platform for everyone involved in the game to come together" - Ross Duncan
Ross Duncan, SGU marketing and sponsorship manager, said: “The Scottish Golf Awards continues to grow in stature year after year and we’re very proud to have staged another hugely successful event.
“The event provides a great platform for everyone involved in the game to come together and celebrate achievements at all levels. On the back of such a great Ryder Cup and a brilliant season for Scotland’s golfers, the event was even more special.
The Scottish Golf Charitable Trust, the main beneficiary of the awards, also raised thousands of pounds on the night from auction and prize draw fundraising, with proceeds to be invested in its good causes of junior golf, education and environmental best practice projects.
Stephen Gallacher wins Player of the Year :: Your thoughts
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