I t will be safe to assume that nobody goes drouthy in Scott Jamieson's household over the Christmas period.
"I'm in charge of providing the champagne . . . and there will be a fair bit of it," admits the 29-year-old. There are plenty of reasons to raise a glass, of course. A win and a share of third place in the opening two events of the new European Tour season in South Africa prior to the winter break brought about a considerable amount of festive cheer.
After two impressively solid seasons on the main circuit, during which time he finished 60th on the order of merit twice and qualified for the season-ending showpiece in Dubai at the end of each year, Jamieson's career has now moved up to a whole new level. The purposeful way in which he followed up his maiden triumph in the Nelson Mandela Championship by claiming a podium place in the following week's Alfred Dunhill Championship illustrated further his competitive instinct and growing mental fortitude. In this most fickle of pursuits, though, you can't afford to rest on the laurels and, despite the popping of celebratory corks, the calm, collected Cathkin Braes golfer is not the type to get carried away by one fulfilling fortnight.
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"Winning on the Tour is what I've been working towards all these years and I wouldn't say it surprised me," said Jamieson, who stood firm in a three-man play-off in the Mandela event to open his account at the top table. "I was very aware that the following week's event was going to be difficult. Suddenly, you're competing as a Tour winner. It was an emotional roller-coaster really, from winning to standing on the first tee of another event. Everyone is back to zero again. I knew it would be hard and I thought a lot about how to deal with it. You just have to get back to business."
Jamieson will get back to business again at the start of January, when he returns to South Africa for the limited-field Volvo Golf Champions event. With the lucrative Middle East swing, featuring some of the world's biggest hitters, swiftly following on from that, Jamieson is eager to hit the ground running and keep the momentum rolling. Having made the big breakthrough, the former Scottish amateur No.1 has had time to reflect and reassess his targets. "I think the goals have changed a wee bit," added Jamieson, who now sits on the fringes of the world's top 100. "I'm now within touching distance of the top 100. With another couple of good weeks, I could be within touching distance of the top 70. From there you have the top-50 in your sights. There is a huge opportunity over the next year to make a real big move up the rankings and it's up to me to take the opportunity."
Like many making the switch from the lofty peaks of the amateur game to the foothills of the professional scene, Jamieson, who joined the paid ranks in 2006, found the transition tough, but his determination to make the grade never wavered. "I never thought it wouldn't happen for me – I always believed I'd get there," admitted the Augusta State University graduate, who juggled a few professional bits and bobs on both sides of the Atlantic before settling down for a full season on the third-tier PGA EuroPro Tour in 2009.
"It did take longer to get to where I wanted to be than I perhaps first thought it would and the hardest part was saying 'right, I'll go back and play full time on the EuroPro Tour and work up from there'. But there are so many players trying to achieve the same thing. Even if you think you're good enough, you just don't waltz on to the tour, you have to earn the right and beat the guys that are just as good as you."
Jamieson did just that. Two EuroPro wins during that 2009 campaign earned him a place on the following year's Challenge Tour, where he would go on to produce an end-of-season burst to clinch promotion to the main circuit. He's not looked back since. Now that he's a Tour champion, it's all about looking forward. So what about 2014, when the Ryder Cup comes to Gleneagles? A highly ambitious target, admittedly, but, "it's important to have big dreams" as Jamieson suggested. "But let's just take it one step at a time," he added, to temper any over-zealous predictions.
"Qualifying starts in September and, obviously, you're looking at winning a couple of times. But having tasted victory I'd like to think I could throw my name into the ring for events that count towards the team. Look at Paul Lawrie this year! Once you get some momentum going, you never know where it will take you."