There is no doubt in Duncan Stewart's mind that the driving force behind his successful 2012 campaign was his decision at the start of the year to sell shares in himself as a pro golfer, with the promise that those who invested in him, and thus gave him the financial backing he needed, would be paid a dividend from his winnings at the end of the season.

So well did it work out for all parties that Stewart had decided to repeat the process this year.

Stewart's two victories in £10,000 tournaments on the PGA EuroPro Tour last year earned him promotion to the Challenge Tour this year, one rung below his ambition to play on the European Tour.

Loading article content

"It was not only the financial side that helped but the fact people believed in me and supported me was a huge factor," he said. "Overall, I had around 60 different parties investing in me, including Paul Lawrie. Having someone of Paul's stature supporting me gave me extra belief that I was good enough to make it to the top level."

Stewart's shareholders duly received a 25% profit on their investments; everyone who bought a £100 share received £125.88. "Although most people were not looking for a profit, I was delighted to give something back to those who have supported and believed in me," said Stewart.

"I am selling shares in myself to help fund my season on the Challenge Tour. The share price remains £100 but last year I limited the number of shares to 150 whereas this year it is 300. I have already sold over 170 shares and that is mainly with people reinvesting from last year. Paul Lawrie texted me to say he was reinvesting and doubling his stake."