A UNIVERSITY of Stirling golfer is hoping his best season yet will carry on through to the autumn and the European Tour Qualifying School.

Chris Maclean, 22 from Clydebank, reached the last 32 of the British Amateur Championships and then won the Tennant Cup before going on to win his county championships.

The timing could not be much better for Maclean who is currently competing in the Scottish Amateur Championships at Prestwick in Ayrshire.

He said: “It’s been a really good season, probably my best, so leading into the Scottish amateur I’m feeling good.

“That’s just golf. You do the same things for months then something just clicks and you go on a hot run, which seems to be what I’ve done for the last month and half.

“After the British Amateurs I had a good feeling about my game. It’s such a confidence sport and I’m now confident I can hit the shots I need to hit and make the putts.”

That’s not to say Maclean is getting ahead of himself, particularly after experiencing a surprise early exit at last year’s Scottish Amateurs. “In 2015 I got to last 16 then last year I was beaten in the first round,” he added.

“But they’ve changed the format this year so it’s a 36 hole stroke play qualifier, which suits me better, and I’ll hopefully get a couple of rounds under my belt, qualify and get to the match play stage.”

When Maclean arrived at the University of Stirling four years ago he was by his own admission “nothing special.” He played off scratch and was ranked around 6000 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Since then, he has taken big steps forward - this week he is ranked 515 and plays off +4.

“It’s a big jump and it shows the difference university has made,” said Maclean who is coached by Kevin Craggs and gets additional support from the university’s head coach, Dean Robertson.

“Since being with Kevin it’s been the fastest I’ve ever improved. He’s developed my skills and made some slight changes which have made me more consistent.

“Dean has been someone to lean on in terms of spin control, ball flight and controlling the golf ball, things that are so important but also hard to teach.

“Being a tour winner he has much knowledge that you get better just from being around him, which you are every day.

“He has developed skills I had and given me new ones I never had. It’s been a good fun journey over the last four years to see how good I could get.”