Golf: Collins' motivational skills help Tour hopeful McAllister

SHAUN McALLISTER is feeling positive about his bid to pass the next phase of the European Tour qualifying - thanks to former Hibs boss John Collins.

The 21-year-old heads for Spain this weekend to finalise his preparations for stage two of the marathon process at Hacienda del Alamo.

It is the first time McAllister, a former Scottish Boys' Stroke-play champion, has given himself a chance to make the third and final phase and no-one would be happier to see him secure a card than Collins.

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The pair are clubmates at Craigielaw and have played a fair bit of golf together over the past few months.

"John plays off 13 - and he's a bandit off that," revealed McAllister of the former Scotland football star, who lives on the East Lothian course.

"He's a great guy to play with because he is so motivated and helps get you thinking the same way. He is very positive about everything and even after spending five minutes with him you feel so much better.

"He knows how to get the best out of people and has been helping my game a lot on the occasions we've played together."

McAllister finished in a tie for 18th behind former Walker Cup man Wallace Booth at their stage one event at Dundonald Links.

That was in mid-September and, with the EuroPro Tour now in winter hibernation, he's not had a card and pencil in his hand for a good few weeks.

"That's certainly not been ideal when I'm preparing for a test like the second stage of the Tour School, where every hole matters," admitted McAllister.

"All I've been able to do is practise as much as I can to try and get in the groove, though unfortunately the weather here's not been great recently."