Calum Hill was hotly tipped to excel on the Challenge Tour in 2019, and he did so emphatically.
After winning in only his fifth Challenge Tour start in 2018, Hill finished the campaign with the lowest stroke average of the year and was well-placed for a graduation tilt in 2019.
The 25-year-old had a relatively slow start to the year with two missed cuts in his first three events and by the time he had missed the cut at the Italian Challenge Open Eneos Motor Oil, Hill had only one top ten to his name. However, the following week was the catalyst for what became a stunning run of form.
He progressed through the qualifier for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and went on to finish as joint low-Scot at The Renaissance Club.
Hill returned to Challenge Tour duty and won immediately – at the Euram Bank Open – before another victory, two tied third places and one tied seventh place made up his next four starts as he rocketed to the top of the Road to Mallorca Rankings.
His final top five finish of the season arrived in the penultimate event of the year at the Foshan Open, where four rounds in the 60s secured a tie for third place and a return to the top of the Rankings after Francesco Laporta’s victory in the Hainan Open had seen the Italian become the man to catch.
Going into the final event of the season, the race to finish Number One was as alive as ever. However, it was Laporta who ultimately finished ahead of the pack, courtesy of his second win of the year at the Challenge Tour Grand Final, with Hill having to settle for second place.
For the Scot, however, it was mission complete. He proved twice more that he knew how to win and his consistency throughout the year meant he played a lot of pressure golf, something which will stand him in good stead for his maiden European Tour campaign.