Angus darts ace Alan Soutar has been named PDC Best Newcomer after his stunning debut year as a professional.
Arbroath-based Soutar reached the last 16 of the World Darts Championship final at Alexandra Palace and stormed up to 51st in the world.
The Dundee firefighter, known as Soots, picked up £67,000 in prize money in his first ten months as a professional.
That was £18,000 more than the next highest-placed new tour card holder, Florian Hempel.
𝗕𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗡𝗲𝘄𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗿 🏆
Winner: 𝘼𝙡𝙖𝙣 𝙎𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙖𝙧
Scotsman Alan Soutar is the @MoneybarnUK Best Newcomer of 2021, storming to 51st place in the Order of Merit in his debut year, capped with a run to the Last 16 in the World Darts Championship pic.twitter.com/GgE5jrVhbf
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) January 27, 2022
“The last few months have been crazy,” said Soutar.
“Ally Pally propelled it to a different level. I could never have imagined the level of media attention that run would attract.
“Winning this award has capped it all for me.
“I’ve played darts at a good level for most of my life but I’m quite happy to be classed as a 44-year-old newcomer!”
Alan Soutar: Ally Pally exploits
Alan Soutar completes a stunning comeback, surviving 𝗘𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧 match darts, with a magical 144 finish 💥pic.twitter.com/JDRLH3nipt
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) December 23, 2021
Soutar announced himself on the biggest stage at Ally Pally.
He beat Diogo Portela, Mensur Suljovic and world number seven Jose de Sousa.
His media profile has risen significantly since that £35,000 glory run.
Soutar appeared on Sky Sports News in a live Christmas Day interview.
And he returned to Scotland between matches to work at Dundee Kingsway East Fire Station.
He now has high hopes for his return to the tour when it begins next month, with a top 32 spot not out of reach.
The PDC’s two-year rolling order of merit has put Soutar in a commanding position to achieve that aim.
All 50 players ranked higher than Soutar could lose money from their ranking card from events from 2020.
Players ‘defend’ their earnings from specific tournaments on a two-year basis but Soutar’s earnings in 2020 were zero.
He qualified as a pro in February 2021, via PDC Q-School.