Jul 15 2011 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
BLAIRGOWRIE professional and Ryder Cup referee Charles Dernie reckons teenage prospect Bradley Neil – pictured –is the most naturally gifted youngster he has worked with.
And in Open week, he has even detected a bit of the Rory McIlroy about the Big County player.
Charles coached the classy kid, who has been bagging titles on both sides of the border, from age seven to 12.
And while Scotland cap Bradley has a long way to go to claw his way onto the European Tour or to match the magical McIlroy, he has been catching the eye.
“I have always said Bradley has the most natural talent I have ever seen,” said Charles, who is also the honorary pro at the Royal Perth Golfing Society.
“Golf comes very easily to him because of his ability and I did not have to show him all that much.
“He is a good aggressive player, a long hitter for his age.
“He has no particular weaknesses and has a good feel for the game.”
“I would not say Bradley is a totally manufactured player like Nick Faldo or has as much flair and imagination as Seve Ballesteros did.
“He is probably somewhere between the two. There is a bit of the Rory McIlroy about the way he plays, including his temperament.
“He does not let one bad shot put him off, the sort of mental strength that enabled Rory to bounce back from his Masters problems and win the US Open.”
This week, young Neil has been competing at the prestigious McGregor Trophy at the South Moor club in Stanley, County Durham.
The 15-year-old plus one golfer was bidding to follow in the footsteps of Tour winners Justin Rose, Edoardo Molinari and Graeme Storm as an England Boys Under-16 Open champion.
Last season he secured the Reid Trophy, the English Under-14 Championship and he also won the 2010 Scottish Under-14 Championship.