Nick Dougherty's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship win was celebrated in style at Shaw Hill Golf Club, where the 25-year-old perfected his game as a talented junior. Here, we report on the club's joy at Dougherty's success on the world stage.

IT says something of Nick Dougherty's deep-rooted association with Shaw Hill that he was ready to celebrate his biggest career victory with the Chorley club - even before sinking the winning putt.

Dougherty struck a solid shot to the 18th green at St Andrews, to be within an ace of landing last week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, when he asked Tony Godfrey, a former junior organiser at Shaw Hill, to send a message to Whittle-le-Woods.

"As soon as Nick hit the green with his second shot, he told Tony to ring the club and put a tab behind the bar," explained Lawrence Bateson, Shaw Hill's secretary.

"He also put on a bottle of brandy, for the people who were here watching him and celebrating.

"But that's typical of Nick. He's the most outstanding young man you could ever wish to meet."

Bateson and every single one of Shaw Hill's members are immensely proud of Dougherty.

And understandably so, as the 25-year-old is fulfilling every ounce of promise that he showed during his trophy-laden junior years in Chorley.

After turning pro, Dougherty was widely tipped to be the next big thing in world golf.

With each passing year, he has moved closer to fulfilling that tag.

Now even Tiger Woods is looking over his shoulder after Dougherty's fantastic 2007.

A superb four days on the Scottish coasts saw the former QEGS student lift the Dunhill Links title by two shots, for his second European Tour career title, while he has led in almost 10 other tournaments this year.

It is proving an incredible 12 months and everyone at Shaw Hill is enjoying - and sharing - in Dougherty's success on golf's biggest stages.

It was at the picturesque Chorley club that Dougherty took his golfing education before hitting the professional ranks, after his parents bought a house at the entrance to Shaw Hill when he was just 11.

"Every single one of our members looks for Nick's scores," said Bateson, who has been Shaw Hill secretary since 2000.

"I'm no different to any other member of this club. We all think as much of him. We are extremely proud of him. Not only is he a brilliantly talented golfer, but he's a brilliant young man.

"He is a good advert for this golf club in every sense. He's an example to any young golfer. If you want to succeed, just take a look at what Nick has done."

As a youngster, Dougherty's record was second-to-none.

He won his first junior tournament at 12 and won the Faldo Junior Series, one of the top British junior prizes, in its first year, when he was 15. He won twice more, when 17 and 18, and also became World Junior Champion.

All his early victories are remembered with a Dougherty shrine' at Shaw Hill, in the form of a dedicated trophy cabinet in the club's Vice President's lounge. It is overflowing with silverware.

Bateson said: "In the summer, we have a lot of corporate parties here and you can see people just staring at his cabinet in amazement.

"People come and ask to see it. They ask about Nick and the members are always happy to tell them about him."

Bateson has known Dougherty ever since the Liverpudlian-born youngster arrived at Shaw Hill.

And instantly, the club's former competitions chairman spotted a talent he knew one day would go on to great success.

The 65-year-old added: "If you watch kids playing football on the park, you always see somebody that stands out. You just know that they are good.

"Nick stood out. He had that little bit of charisma.

"When he was about 13, he was in our team in the Manchester Alliance, where it is all scratch golfers and the pro plays.

"He played against the pro's and beat them. They didn't like it!

"You could see the talent he had. He was absolutely brilliant.

"I watched him when he first started to play in the Faldo Series.

"He won the first one at the Forest of Arden quite easily.

"Afterwards, when they had the reception for dinner, there must have been 200 people including Prince Andrew - all the top people in the amateur golfing world.

"Nick got up and did a speech and everybody was absolutely in awe of him. You could not believe that a young lad at that age could have done that.

"Everybody else would have been a nervous wreck."

Dougherty's Dunhill Links win sent him into the top 50 of golf's world rankings, and Bateson is confident he will reach number one and go on to land a Major.

"He's a talented golfer and in two or three years time, he will be right up there with Tiger Woods.

"Tiger is the top guy, but Nick can be right up there with him.

"I've never ever doubted that Nick will become the world's number one golfer.

"I said to him when he was about 12 or 13 that I'm waiting for him to bring that Claret Jug back to Shaw Hill.

"And he will do."