Bradley Neil relieved at Junior Ryder Cup chance

HE TRAVELLED nearly 6,000 miles to represent Scotland in the Eisenhower Trophy in Japan last week. Next Monday, Bradley Neil faces a much shorter trip to play for Europe in the Junior Ryder Cup.

Bradley Neil sets his goals high. Picture: Getty
Bradley Neil sets his goals high. Picture: Getty

Making him an even bigger local hero than Stephen Gallacher in the main event, the 18-year-old is lining up in the two-day tussle against the Americans at Blairgowrie, his home club.

“I set my goals every year and making the Eisenhower and GB&I teams has been great,” admitted Neil after arriving back in Perthshire from helping Scotland finish a respectable ninth in the World Amateur Team Championship last weekend.

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“But I wanted to play here and it was a massive relief making the team. I have had my best-ever season and this is a great way to round off my career in the junior ranks.”

Neil, who was crowned as Amateur champion at Royal Portrush in June, is the sole Scot in a team being captained by Forfar man Stuart Wilson.

“All around the club and Blairgowrie people are taking an interest,” he added. “It has been well hyped up. It should attract a lot of locals to come and watch.

“But the only pressure I will feel is what I put on myself. I don’t feel extra pressure because people here are wishing me well.

“I have such high expectations to do well and every week I was doing well was taking me one step closer to making the Junior Ryder Cup team. I was growing more and more confident of making it.”

Along with the rest of the players on both teams, Neil will be heading to Gleneagles after their match finishes to take in the Ryder Cup, with Gallacher flying the Saltire in that event.

“To see him make it is a massive inspiration for me,” admitted Neil. “The likes of Stephen have all gone through the same system I’m going through with the SGU.”

At this year’s Open Championship, Neil was thrilled to play a practice round in the company of Gallacher as well as Paul Lawrie and Paul McKechnie.

“We were a pretty solid team that day,” he recalled. “It was myself and Stephen against the two Pauls over eight holes. We either won 2&1 or 3&1. I’ve still not got my 20 pounds we’re owed. Seriously, though, money can’t buy an experience like that.”