Lloyd Saltman is determined to return to The European Tour this season and has pinpointed this week’s Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts as the perfect chance to move up the Challenge Tour Rankings.
The Scotsman missed out on retaining his card in 2011, finishing 133rd in The Race to Dubai having earned his playing rights at the Qualifying School in December 2010, and has played a mixture of European Tour and Challenge Tour events so far this season.
Despite some promising results, such as 22nd in the Nordea Masters at the start of the month and 19th in the Sicilian Open in March, playing a combination of the two means he has not made much impression on either the Challenge Tour Rankings or The Race to Dubai – something he is aiming to put right at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club, in Aviemore.
“I’ve got category 12 this year which has got me into a few European Tour events,” said the 26 year old. “The aim is to get back on The European Tour as soon as possible and I think the most likely way is to finish in the top 20 in the Challenge Tour Rankings.
“Keeping my card last year was always going to be tough with only a Qualifying School category. I didn’t quite manage it, although I had my chances, but I’ve learned from the experience and will bounce back.
“It’s a big fortnight for the Challenge Tour because of last week in Saint Omer (the Saint-Omer Open presented by Neuflize OBC) and this week at the Scottish Hydro Challenge. Both carry large prize funds and it’s important to do well.
“The Scottish Hydro Challenge is a great event at a superb venue so I’m really looking forward to it. I played in an Optical Express event there on the Scottish Tour a couple of months ago, and the course looked in great shape. It’s in excellent condition, and will no doubt be a very good test for the Challenge Tour guys.
“It’s always nice to play on home soil as well. It’s nice to have family and friends up there watching, as it’s only a couple of hours’ drive from Edinburgh, where I live. It’s a course I really like and one I’ve played well on in the past.”
The Scots are well represented with the five members of Team Scottish Hydro – Chris Doak, Jack Doherty, Callum Macaulay, Andrew McArthur and Jamie McLeary – all playing, as well as Lloyd’s brother, Elliot, former BMW PGA Championship winner Scott Drummond and Wallace Booth, whose sister Carly won the Ladies Scottish Open on the Ladies European Tour earlier this year.
Gary Lockerbie, the current Rankings leader, is also in attendance for the €220,000 event, as are former champions Robert Dinwiddie (2007) and Sam Walker (2006).
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