Blairgowrie Golf Club management and members have been toasting Bradley Neil’s golden day at the Australian Youth Olympics.
The 17-year-old Scottish international, who already has his name on the local club’s board of champions, played a starring role for Team GB as they struck gold.
And the Blairgowrie High School pupil came within a whisker of bagging bronze as well after four-sub par rounds in the Sydney heat.
Blair managing secretary Douglas Cleeton said: “It’s difficult to actually put into words just how well Bradley has done. He has shown that hard work and dedication reap rewards, along with natural ability.
“We have all known at the club for some time that Bradley is a special talent. Already a Scottish youth cap and Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) youth player, he has now excelled by achieving another first in Australia by being part of the winning Team GB side – and he was fourth in the individual event.
Mr Cleeton continued: “He is often compared with golfers you hear of as being exceptional amateurs, which indicates just how good a prospect he is. To be able to travel the globe as he does with Scotland, GB&I and now Team GB and consistently produce results shows a pedigree that very few golfers ever attain.
“We all hope that Bradley makes the team for the Junior Ryder Cup in 2014, as it is at his home club and promises to be a terrific event. With Bradley in the team, there is no doubt that Europe have a special talent who will benefit from playing over his home course which, as any golfer knows, puts you one-up on the first tee.
“Bradley’s achievements in general are a terrific testament to his dedication, and to the incredible support he receives from his family, close friends, and of course the club.”
Bradley and compatriot Ewan Scott from St Andrews, both members of the SGU National Boys’ Performance Squad, combined with English girl Georgia Hall and Chloe Williams from Wales for overall team glory.
The quartet, part of a 10-strong Team GB team, beat the host nation to the gold medal by a massive 12 shots, with New Zealand third.
Golf will return to the Olympic Games for the first time since 1904 in Rio in 2016, meaning Bradley and his team-mates were part of the first British team to take part in an Olympics golf event for more than a century.
Afterwards, Bradley declared: “It was the proudest day of my life winning a gold medal. I’m so glad to have been part of Team GB. I have had a memorable trip to Oz and thanks to everyone back home for their support. It means a lot.
“Although I just missed out on an individual medal I was happy to play my part in helping the team win gold.
“In my final round I triple-bogeyed one of the early holes and I felt as though I was out of the individuals but I wanted to keep a score going for the team event.
“I knew we were in the hunt for the gold but had no idea of the other scores so I just had to keep plugging away, somehow I ended up three under.
“The aim for the team was to get a medal but to get the gold was fantastic. To be part of the first British team to compete for more than 100 years was great, but to be part of the first-ever gold-medal winning team was brilliant.”
Kevin Cademy-Taylor, a performance development manager with governing body Scottish Golf, said: “It’s fantastic to see these three young players succeeding on the international stage.
“None of the players have even turned 18 yet, but already they have shown they can compete at a very high standard. It’s a credit to them as individuals and a credit to our systems.
“Having all been right through the development programme with the Scottish Golf Academy, all aspects of their training have been tested in Australia – including travel, dealing with extreme heat, rest and diet. It’s great to see our training being put to good use at such a big event.”