Shields failed to get government backing because he was ‘moving backwards’ despite gaining card
Paul Shields has been announced as one of the seven players comprising Team SSE Scottish Hydro for 2016 - just two months after being turned down for funding from Scottish Golf Support Limited (SGSL).
The Kirkhill player, who earned his Challenge Tour card last season after an impressive showing at European Tour Q School, took to Twitter in February after his disappointment at being turned down for funding by the Scottish Government-back SGSL, but was unveiled as one of Paul Lawrie’s stable of supported pros just two days later.
In addition to Shields, David Law is also part of Team SSE Scottish Hydro for the first time, with the Aberdonian about to begin his third successive season on the Challenge Tour.
Law has two Challenge Tour campaigns under his belt already, finishing 66th on the money-list in 2014 then 70th last year. The 24-year-old had enjoyed a successful amateur career, winning two Scottish Amateur titles, and his most recent win came at the Sotogrande Masters, a MENA Tour event held in southern Spain.
Fifer George Murray and Ayrshire man Jack Doherty are receiving support for the fourth year running as they both bid to regain their European Tour cards, while Duncan Stewart is part of the set up for a third year as he targets a European Tour spot.
Like Murray and Doherty, Pretswell is part of the team for a fourth year running, while fellow Ladies European Tour pro Sally Watson receives support for a second season.
Team SSE Scottish Hydro has enjoyed consistent success since it was launched at Edinburgh Castle in 2011. Since then, Doherty, Craig Lee, Chris Doak, Calum Macaulay and Jamie McLeary all earned steps up to the European Tour helped by the support, as did Andrew McArthur when he graduated from the Challenge Tour last season.
Colin Banks, head of sponsorship and reward at SSE, said they are pleased to continue their support of Scottish golfers in the professional ranks.
He said: “We are pleased to welcome David [Law] and Paul [Shields] to the programme.
“Over the past five years, Team SSE Scottish Hydro players have won two Ladies European Tour events, three European Challenge Tour events and seven players have won their full European Tour card and we hope that, in some way, SSE has made a difference and helped them to achieve this.
“Kylie Walker and Craig Lee both benefited from support from SSE in the early years of the initiative and we are proud to watch their progress as they establish themselves at the top of the European game.
“This is an exciting time for Scottish Golf and we look forward to following this year’s players as they continue their development to the top tier of European golf.”