Walker Cup winner James Byrne completed a lifetime ambition when winning the Banchory Golf Club mens’ championship for the first time.
James, who helped Great Britain and Ireland defeat the United States in the Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen in 2011, strolled to a wide margin of victory.
The success was squeezed into a family holiday in the north-east when taking a break from his job as a producer at European Tour Productions.
James, 34, said: “I’d always wanted to win the club championship at Banchory.
“There is something special about having your name on that board permanently alongside the best players in the club’s history.
“When I was younger, I was always away, so was never able to play in it … and then I turned pro.
“But when I got my amateur status back at the start of 2023, I made a point of arranging a holiday back in Banchory with my wife Tara and son Bradley so I could play in it.”
James, who plays off plus-three, returned rounds of 72, 67, 67 and 63 to win by 11 shots at his home club.
It was the latest chapter in an eventful golf career which saw him turn professional in 2011.
Q School, Asian Tour, golf apparel and Wentworth before James joined European Tour productions
James said: “I played in the European Tour Qualifying School for six consecutive years, but without much success.
“So I played the Asian Tour and some other tours until 2018, when I felt it was no longer a sustainable career for me.
“I then worked as marketing manager for an apparel company called Fenix – owned by former Newmachar junior Michael Moir – in Bangkok, Thailand, for a few years.
“In 2021, I moved back to the UK with my wife to work at the Wentworth Club for a short spell, before joining European Tour Productions.
“I’m really enjoying it. We produce some incredible content you’ll see on the Tour’s social channels.
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) January 12, 2024
“It’s very different from life on tour, but I have a family now so I have totally different priorities.
“I like to think I’m still a good golfer, and that competitive streak is still there… I just don’t do it for a living anymore.
“I hope to return to try to defend my trophy, but it all depends on my schedule.”
James became a father to a second child when his daughter Hayley was born in November 2023.