GOLF ace Brian Soutar has an eye on the full-time ranks this year – and he’s now an honorary member of his home club.
Top officials at Leven Golfing Society decided Brian’s extensive record in the game spoke for itself, despite his tender years – so they conferred honorary membership on him at the age of just 28.
Amid a string of leading honours, Brian has won both the major amateur contests staged annually at Leven – the Scottish Champion of Champions and the Standard Life Gold Medal.
And the biggest triumph of his career so far came in March this year, with a superb victory in the South African Amateur tournament.
His win over the highly-rated Brandon Stone in Cape Town saw his name added to a trophy which already has the likes of Ernie Els and Retief Goosen inscribed on it.
Brian told the Mail last week: “I am delighted – it’s a great honour for anybody to be given honorary membership of a golf club, especially at my age.”
He added that, as “a full-time amateur”, the status should at least help with his annual club fees.
And, at the end of this season, in late November, he hopes to turn professional.
A number of tournaments are coming up for Brian over the next few weeks, including the Welsh Stroke Play, the Scottish Stroke Play, St Andrews Links and Bravazon Trophy.
Brian joined Leven GS as a junior member in 1997 – recruited from Scoonie GC by the late Jim Ferguson, a skilled spotter of future talent.
He has stayed with Leven GS since then, through student membership, when he attended Heriot-Watt University, gaining a degree in physics, and finally to full membership in 2007.
“Brian has represented LGS extremely well in many open competitions across the UK and represented the club with distinction in team matches for several years,” said the club.
In 1999, he was part of the Leven GS squad which won the Fife Boys Team Championship, while in 2000 he was Scoonie GC club champion.
Three years later, he became Leven GS club champion and won the Fife Champion of Champions title.
Other honours include 2004 Leven Links Champion, Leven Thistle GC champion in 2006, Scottish Universities Champion the same year and Scottish Universities international caps against England, Ireland and Wales.
Brian also won the Standard Life Gold Medal in 2007 and was last year’s Scottish Champion of Champions winner, as well as being part of the Fife team which won the Scottish Area Team Championship.
This year, he was also Scottish Champion Of Champions joint runner-up and a member of Scottish Golf Union elite training squad.
Brian’s win in South Africa granted him automatic entry to the South African Open in November, when the formal presentation of his honour from Leven GS is also expected to take place.