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Friday, February 17, 2012

2001 CHAMPION BARRY HUME HAS TURNED HIS BACK ON GOLF

By NICK RODGER
A decade ago Barry Hume was Scottish golf's next big thing.
Nowadays, the 30-year-old's career is consumed by a different kind of ball game. As the operations director of Soccer Innovation, a Glasgow-based US college scholarship placement service which he runs in partnership with former St Mirren and Aberdeen midfielder Ricky Gillies, Hume is striving to help promising youngsters achieve their potential. And he knows only too well how perilous that particular process can be.
When Hume made the step up into golf's professional ranks back in 2002, hopes were high. He had produced a match-play master class in beating Craig Watson 5 and 4 in the final of the 2001 Scottish Amateur Championship at Downfield before joining an elite group of double winners by adding the national strokeplay crown to his collection at Southerness the following season.
In between, there were a couple of other order of merit titles and a European Team Championship gold medal with a Scotland squad that also featured Marc Warren and Steven O'Hara. Hume, in fact, plundered the winning point in that 2001 final against an Ireland team spearheaded by Graeme McDowell and Michael Hoey.
Those dazzling amateur dramatics were expected to be replicated in the professional theatre, but it never happened.
There were the odd moments. Hume qualified for two Open Championships, in 2004 and 2008, and was runner-up in the Malaysian Masters during a brief flirtation with the Asian Tour in 2006. Yet the financial rigours of trying to gain a solid foothold in the paid game eventually took its toll. Another failed attempt at the European Tour's qualifying school in 2010 was the final straw. "I was chasing after a lifetime goal with no money and it was never going to happen," he said. "It was not a hard decision to take. There's only so long you can bang your head off the wall before you have to say 'enough is enough.'
"I played for five years with my last 500 quid, so success is all relative. To play for five years with 500 quid in your pocket is good but that's not success in other peoples' eyes."

TO READ NICK RODGER'S FULL INTERVIEW WITH BARRY HUME, BUY A COPY OF THE HERALD NEWSPAPER TODAY OR VIEW IT ON THE HERALD WEBSITE

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