THERE will be seven Scots competing in the US PGA at Whistling Straits this week and included in the septet is Steven Young, a three-times Scottish Boys champion who once beat Sergio Garcia.
Young has slipped off the radar since those heady days as an amateur and is now a club pro based in the States.
But he will line up at the final major of the season in Wisconsin alongside such stellar names as Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Garcia.
Now 38, Young was a hugely promising amateur in the 1990s and appeared to have the golfing world at his feet.
Originally from Inverallochy, near Fraserburgh, he is now based in Midland, Texas. The last time he played in a major was the 1998 Open Championship.
At the Midland Country Club, his duties largely consist of teaching and he has been there since the late 1990s when he missed out on winning a PGA Tour card by a single stroke.
Now the former Walker Cup player has secured a place at this week’s US PGA. He entered the PGA Professional National championship at the Philadelphia Cricket Club where the first 20 qualified for the final major of the season. Young finished 16th out of 312.
He said: “This is awesome now to have this opportunity. I’ve got nothing to lose.”
At one stage in his career it looked as if competing in majors would be commonplace. Young collected junior and youth titles by the barrowload, once memorably beating Garcia in a European youth international.
He won the Scottish Boys an unparalleled three years in a row, a British Boys’ title, a Scottish Youths’ title and represented Scotland in the senior Home Internationals twice, the first time aged just 18.
After turning pro he had a spell on the European Challenge Tour before returning to Midland where he had enjoyed a golf scholarship. After failing narrowly to make the US Tour, he settled down to life as a club pro and married an American girl he had met at college. They now have three young children and Young added: “It’s kind of fun to have this experience again, but I’m in a different place in my life. It is all about my kids and my wife – golf is secondary.”