Blairgowrie Golf Club have unveiled Bradley Neil as their club ambassador. The recipient of last years coveted Perth & Kinross Sports Personality of the Year Award, Bradley was the obvious choice to be the face of Blairgowrie's golfing scene.
The Big County professional, who has his sights set on a top 10 Challenge Tour finish this season to reclaim his European Tour status, will also sport the club badge in a clothing deal supported by Glenmuir.
Blairgowrie managing secretary Steven Morgan explained: “Bradley represented the golf club superbly in his junior years and was made an honorary member in recognition of his Amateur win and selection for the Junior Ryder Cup.
“He has regularly supported events at the golf club, encouraged our junior section at every opportunity and profiled the club on the European stage.
“We felt it was timely to offer support and encouragement as he bids to regain his European Tour card. Hopefully our tie-up with Glenmuir - the famous Scottish luxury golf knitwear and clothing company - will encourage other potential sponsors further down the line.”
Bradley (23), who was supported in his early career via the Live Active Leisure talented athlete scheme, is now counting down to the first Challenge Tour event in Turkey in late April. He said: “I was introduced to golf here with my dad when I was 3 and the club has been a big part of my life for 20 years now.
“I think I was 10 when I first played a match representing Blairgowrie and went on to fly the flag at county and international level. The club name was always there alongside mine on entry lists.
“It’s fantastic that the club and such a high profile brand in golf like Glenmuir are supporting me on the Challenge Tour as I look to get back to the top tier.
“The name of Perthshire company Graham Environmental Services will again be on my bag as well.”
The club has been a big part of my life for 20 years now. - Bradley Neil
Having tied eighth in a MENA event in South Africa, Bradley will fine-tune his warm-up schedule in Dubai and Bahrain.
“It’s one step back to take two forward,” he said.
“It was great to see David Law winning in Australia recently, with Bob MacIntyre, Grant Forrest and Liam Johnston joining the other Scots on Tour this season.
“I have always said we want as many Scots competing at the top level as possible. Hopefully they all do well and I can join them next season.
“Scottish Golf and sportscotland have been very supportive to me and others.
“It tends to go in stages and I know the U16 Scotland team is fantastic.
“It’s down to the individual to succeed when you reach the pro game but hopefully they will be spurred on by seeing Scots making their mark.”
Bradley was the first Perth and Kinross player for 40 years to reach the top tier.
“I have had a lot of time to analyse what went wrong last year. I have used it positively,” he said.
“I have been happy with the progress I have made on and off the golf course. My form was good in South Africa in a recent high profile event. It was very encouraging so early in the season.
“It was hard to make improvements given the schedule last year on the full Tour and doubts began to creep in. It was especially annoying not to put together four rounds of my best golf.
I am aiming for a top 10 finish – and I want to win tournaments.
“There were a few low points but I have had great support from various quarters.
“I have been figuring out what I need to do with my new coach, Fintan Bonner at St Andrews.
“I want to make sure there's not an inkling of doubt in any part of my game when the Challenge Tour begins.
“I know I am a better player than this time two years ago when I was starting out on my first full season on the Challenge Tour. I have more experience behind me.
“The target for the season is to regain that full European Tour card.
“I am aiming for a top 10 finish – and I want to win tournaments.”
Well, we have no shadow of a doubt that this modest, talented young golfer will do just this.
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