Andrew McArthur, the top Scotsman on the European Challenge Tour Rankings, is ready to lead the home charge at the €200,000 Scottish Challenge presented by Bank of Scotland Corporate.
The 28 year old from Glasgow is hoping that home advantage at the Macdonald Cardrona Hotel Golf and Country Club can inspire him to a maiden Challenge Tour win at the third richest event on the 2007 Schedule.
After finishing his rookie Challenge Tour season in 27th place, McArthur feels ready to break into the all important top 20 on the Rankings and win a place on The 2008 European Tour.
“That’s the main goal for the season – and I think if I can win an event then I’ll be pretty close to the top 20 at the end of the season,” said McArthur, who is currently 25th on the Rankings with €28,007.
“I have been threatening to play very well recently – I have had some decent results and played some great stuff, but I have to take it up a level if I want to win.
“To do it in Scotland would be pretty special. I know the course at Cardrona well – I had a hole in one at the par four second there a couple of years ago. I wouldn’t mind a couple of those this week.”
Jamie McLeary believes the establishment of the Scottish Challenge presented by Bank of Scotland Corporate is a massive boost in the run up to The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
The inaugural tournament, conceived as a result of Scotland's successful bid to stage the Ryder Cup, was held last year at Murcar Golf Links and, through reciprocal arrangements with other countries, McLeary was able to win enough money to secure his full playing rights this season.
The 26 year old said: “If it wasn't for the Scottish Challenge I'd probably be playing on the Europro Tour – the third tier. It has given me a step up that I wouldn't have had otherwise and it will help others turning professional to gain a foothold.
“The public will be looking for four Scots in The Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in 2014 and the ones turning professional now could be the ones to fill those spots. This tournament will help that cause as well.”
Macdonald Hotels plan to stage the tournament this year and next at the Dave Thomas-designed Cardrona course and take it in 2009 to the Spey Valley layout at Aviemore that he also designed.
In addition to McLeary, other developing Scots professionals who will benefit immediately from the tournament include Eric Ramsay, Scott Jamieson, Graeme Brown and Elliot Saltman, while a strong Tartan Tour contingent includes the likes of two time Challenge Tour winner Greig Hutcheon, Chris Doak, Scott Henderson and Calum Nicoll.
Those talented Scots will come up against a field of international players that includes every one of the Challenge Tour’s top ten players – a fact that underlines the importance of the Scottish Challenge presented by Bank of Scotland Corporate on the 2007 Schedule.
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