James Ross delighted to win top amateur accolade

James Ross

James Ross

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Capital star James Ross will be feeling proud as punch tonight – despite being more than 4500 miles away when he’s announced as “2013 Scottish Amateur Golfer of the Year” at a glitzy bash in Glasgow.

The Royal Burgess player has been unable to travel home from Houston due to college commitments for the Scottish Golf Awards, which celebrate achievements in both the amateur and professional ranks.

Ross collared one of the main amateur prizes up for grabs by showing impeccable timing last season, jumping ahead of Graeme Robertson, Grant Forrest and Jack McDonald in the world rankings right at the cut-off mark.

“It’s a great accolade for me,” admitted Ross, who first showed his potential when reaching the final of the 2007 Lothians Championship at Bruntsfield Links and has improved every year since then.

“I feel very fortunate to have won the award as there were so many guys who could easily have led the rankings at the time it was chosen.”

On his Scotland debut at men’s level, Ross led the 36-hole stroke-play qualifying in the European Team Championship in Denmark, then helped Scotland secure a silver medal.

He also gave a good account of himself when finishing joint-11th in the European Individual Championship at El Prat in Barcelona.

“Last year was a great year for Scottish golf in general, highlighted in the amateur scene by the Scots getting to the Europeans final in Denmark,” he added. “To be a part in all of that is very special to me.”

Ross, who had Scottish Boys’ champion Bradley Neil picking up the award on his behalf, had a spell at Michigan State when he first headed to America before transferring to the University of Houston.

Earlier this week he helped the Cougars win the Bayou City event in their first spring outing, finishing tenth himself in the individual standings.

“I feel like my game has been steadily improving year on year over here in the States and that is a testament to the set up we have here in Houston and also to the work I do with my coach Kevin Kirk,” he said.

“I look forward to coming home again this summer to compete in the amateur events as this may end up being my last year of amateur golf.

“The competition back home right now is very strong and a great environment to be playing in all the time. Scottish golf has a lot of depth right now, which is great for the future.

“As for my aspirations for the year, I hope to keep improving my game and let’s wait and see what results come out on the back of that.” In the running for the main Scottish Golfer of the Year Award tonight are Lothians stars Catriona Matthew and Stephen Gallacher.