Tuesday, 23 June 2015
George Murray (Phil Inglis) ()
George Murray (Phil Inglis) ()

As the Challenge Tour returns to the home of golf, celebrating the tenth staging of the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts, former champion George Murray is also marking a significant milestone.

It is five years ago that the 32 year old sealed his first professional victory in this event, a dominant four shot win on the Macdonald Spey Valley course, which helped earn him graduation to The European Tour for the 2011 season.

That remains his only career win to date, and the Scot openly admits he has not always had the best form on home soil in the past.

“I’ve got a strange record up here,” he said. “I know I won here in 2010, so I’ll always have fond memories of this place, but I’ve missed the cut every other time I’ve played here.

“But I feel I’ve been playing alright recently. I’ve not scored that well this season but hopefully things will turn and I can get another good result here this week.

“I feel my game’s in pretty good shape but it’s a strange tour - all you need is a couple of decent results and you’re suddenly right back up there.

“I’ve got the whole family up with me this week which makes a big difference. I’ve been away for four weeks in a row so it’s nice to get a chance to spend some time with them this week, though hopefully I’ll be too busy come the business end over the weekend to see much of them.”

Murray was the last home winner of the event and, with typically Scottish weather forecast this week, he is hopeful that five year drought can be ended on Sunday.

It would be great if we could have a home winner here in Scotland and if it’s not me this week I’d like it to be Andrew McArthur

“I don’t really enjoy the bad weather to be honest,” he said. “It’s supposed to be getting worse over the weekend so hopefully my Scottish roots will stand me in decent stead.

“And if I had to tip someone to win this week I’d say Andrew McArthur. He’s been playing very well, the results don’t lie. He’s had a couple of decent results on The European Tour as well.

“It would be great if we could have a home winner here in Scotland and if it’s not me this week I’d like it to be him.”

Murray is a member of SSE Team Hydro which provides financial support for emerging professionals but, after a patchy start to the 2015 season, sits 90th in the Road to Oman Rankings, though he knows how quickly he could climb up with a good run of form.

“There’s a long way to go this season,” he said. “There are still so many events, and you only need to pick up one or two good results and you’re up and running.

“You just need to be patient, keep doing what you feel is right, and I definitely feel as if I’m working on the right stuff and it’s all nearly there.

“Everyone here is trying to get on up to the big stage and get a couple of results there, there’s nothing better. I was lucky to get a shot a few years ago and I liked the taste, so I’d love to get there again!”

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