BRADLEY NEIL has been encouraged to “play with a smile on his face” when he joins five other amateurs in this year’s Masters line-up.
The Blairgowrie teenager has earned the coveted chance to play at Augusta National next week as the Amateur champion, having claimed that title at Royal Portrush last June.
“I said to Bradley (pictured right) at the recent Scottish Golf Awards in Edinburgh that he has just got to go out and play with a smile on his face, regardless of what is happening,” said Stephen Gallacher.
“As an amateur, I played in The Open as European Individual champion and also played in the Lancome Trophy. He should soak it all in because it’s an experience that will help him when he turns professional.”
Gallacher played a practice round with Neil for last year’s Open at Hoylake. “He’s a great talent and great ball-striker, but he shouldn’t be going out at Augusta with any expectations,” insisted the Bathgate man. “The main thing is that he will learn a hell of a lot and you’ve got to remember that Rory McIlroy, at 25, is still learning when it comes to Augusta. Bradley should just soak it all in. He’s at the pinnacle of the amateur game and it’s a case of him learning from the best.”