They used to try to beat each other in putting competitions to win a golf ball and now Liam Johnston and Connor Syme are bidding to become medal winners for Great Britain.
As they prepared to join forces in one of the home line-ups in the European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles, boyhood golfing memories came flooding back for the one-time Dumfries duo.
“I’ve known Connor since I was ten or 12 years old. His dad, Stuart, used to be the head pro at Dumfries & County, so we’ve known each other for a long time,” said Johnston, a winner on the Challenge Tour in Spain this season.
“We enjoyed putting competitions against each other. When we were younger, it was just about who is going to win the ball. It wasn’t about, are we going to win a major?, we weren’t thinking that way.”
On paper, the Great Britain 1 pairing of Callum Shinkwin and Lee Slattery are favourites for the men’s gold medal, with the Portuguese pair of Ricardo Santos and Jose-Filipe Lima other strong contenders.
However, there’s nothing to suggest that Syme and Johnston can’t get in the mix and they will certainly be looking to get off to a winning start against the Great Britain 2 duo of Charlie Ford and Rhys Enoch.
“It will be fun,” said Syme, runner-up in the Shot Clock Masters on the European Tour this season, while Johnston added: “It’s so cool to be representing Great Britain and it would be great to win a medal as you would have something to remember it by.”