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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Scottish Golf Dinner

Press release

Kylie Walker (pictured right, courtesy takes the Ladies Order of Merit trophy

Tulliallan star Callum Macaulay was awarded his second successive Scottish Golfer of the Year award tonight in front of a packed house at the Scottish Golf Dinner in Glasgow (Friday 27 March).

The 25-year-old’s achievements in his final season as an amateur were celebrated at the glittering event hosted by television personality Dougie Donnelly at Glasgow's Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Living up to his status as the country’s leading player he won the Allied Surveyors Scottish Amateur Championship at Carnoustie and also enjoyed individual success at the Tennant Cup.

However Macaulay also excelled as a team player with his form of the previous year earning him selection for the GB & Ireland squad that contested the St Andrews Trophy with a powerful Continent of Europe side.

Asked to lead the team out in both days’ singles by team captain Colin Dalgleish, he finished the two-day match unbeaten in four rounds of singles and foursomes, as did fellow Scot Wallace Booth of Comrie.

The pair teamed up again later in the season, along with Murrayshall’s Gavin Dear to produce the performance that turned 2008 into one of the most special years in the history of Scottish amateur golf.

Just six years after it was decided that the four Home Unions would compete separately in the World Championships rather than as Great Britain & Ireland, the Scots became the first of them to lift the famous Eisenhower Trophy in the contest that marked the 50th anniversary of the event.

Buoyed by that success in Australia, Macaulay then moved on to the European Tour Qualifying School where, among 900 competitors, he was the lone amateur to win his full tour card.

Evidence that he is at home among the elite was provided just last weekend when his spectacular back nine in the final round at the Madeira Islands Open, including eight birdies as he roared home in 28 strokes, earned him a runners-up finish and a cheque for £73,000 that will greatly ease the pressure of his first year on tour.

With Macaulay competing on the European Tour again this week the award was picked up on his behalf by Ian Rae, the Scottish Golf Union’s national coach who is still working closely with him.

Macaulay did not repeat last year’s achievement of winning both the Scottish Golfer of the Year title and the SGU Order of Merit however because of the remarkable consistency of Caprington’s Steven McEwan, who claimed seven top 10 finishes to take that title.

Booth, who won the Bidwells Scottish Strokeplay Championship as well as the Newlands Trophy in the course of the season, and Dear meanwhile picked up special awards for their contributions to the World Championship win.

Another who shone on the international stage was Boys Order of Merit Trophy winner Michael Stewart, the Scottish Boys champion, who captained the GB&I Boys team to victory in the Jacques Leglise Trophy, while at senior level he put in a fine performance to finish runner-up at the St Andrews Links Trophy.

At the other end of the experience scale was Gordon MacDonald who won the Scottish Seniors Order of Merit after achieving four top five finishes in their counting events, forcing Macaulay’s clubmate Bob Stewart, winner of the Scottish Seniors Strokeplay title, into second place.

Scottish Ladies amateur golf was also celebrated in a season that saw Booth’s sister Carly become the youngest ever player to represent GB&I in the Curtis Cup. That team contained a record equalling four Scots with Krystle Caithness, Michelle Thomson and Sally Watson accompanying the teenager in the match played at the Old Course.

In the domestic season Kylie Walker and Kelsey MacDonald (pictured left, courtesy, won the ladies and girls Order of Merit titles respectively by impressive margins.

Guest speaker Professor David Purdie rounded off a memorable evening which saw former European Tour star Stephen McAllister and Ladies European Tour player Lynn Kenny among those presenting awards.

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