Stephen Gallacher crowned a superb 2014 season after being named Player of the Year at Friday night’s star-studded Scottish Golf Awards.
In front of more than 600 guests at a packed Edinburgh Corn Exchange, including some of Scottish golf’s leading Tour professionals, the Ryder Cup debutant enjoyed a standing ovation as he collected the final award of a glittering evening from last year’s recipient of the accolade and Scotland’s No 1 female, Catriona Matthew.
The Player of the Year award – voted for by Scottish golf fans – was one of the many highlights on an evening which celebrated an historic year for the game in Scotland, looking back on a wonderful Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the many achievements of the nation’s golfers at every level.
Gallacher, Scotland’s No 1 professional who defended his Omega Dubai Desert Classic title in 2014 en route to fulfilling his Ryder Cup dream on home soil, 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 again turned out in fantastic numbers for the Scottish Golf 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 at Augusta National 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.”
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.
Joining Gallacher on the night were a host of golfing stars, including former Ryder Cup captains Bernard Gallacher and Sam Torrance, seven-time Solheim Cup star Matthew and European Tour players Richie Ramsay, Scott Jamieson and Chris Doak.
Torrance and Gallacher were joined on stage by European vice-captain Des Smyth for an entertaining reflection of the glory at Gleneagles, with Martin Kaymer’s Scottish caddie, Craig Connelly, also in attendance to collect Jamie Donaldson’s Shot of the Year award.
Gallacher’s coach, Alan McCloskey from Bothwell Castle, beat off stiff competition to win the inaugural Bob Torrance PGA Coach of the Year Award, with an emotional Sam fittingly presenting the award in memory of his late father.
Kylie Walker won the Inspiration Award thanks to 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 titles.
Other notable sporting guests included Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs, former Hearts boss Jim Jefferies and St Johnstone Scottish Cup winner Callum Davidson. Glasgow Warriors rugby coach Gregor Townsend, the Team GB Olympic curlers and Glasgow Commonwealth Games boxing hero Josh Taylor also enjoyed a night to remember.
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 the grass roots level of the game 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.
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.
“We’d like to thank all our category sponsors for their fantastic support, and those who contributed so much to our fundraising efforts, through buying tickets and bidding in the auction, with a great amount being raised for the Scottish Golf Charitable Trust.”
The full list of winners from the 2015 Scottish Golf Awards is:
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