Scottish golf’s best-ever season on the Challenge Tour had a fitting end in the United Arab Emirates, as four players – Grant Forrest, Liam Johnston, Bob MacIntyre and David Law – were among a 15-strong group to graduate to the European Tour.
It was mission accomplished for the quartet at the conclusion of a nerve-wracking Grand Final in Ras Al Khaimah as they all secured main tour cards for the first time in a campaign that had produced four tartan title triumphs.
“It’s great to have four guys qualify,” admitted Forrest, who ended up in seventh spot on the money-list as the 25-year-old from North Berwick earned his place at the top table in European golf in just his second full season in the paid ranks. “It’s the most I think we have had to come off the Challenge Tour and hopefully now we can move up and make an impact.”
Johnston, a two-time winner this season, finished tenth in the rankings to cap a brilliant first 12 months as a professional for the 25-year-old from Dumfries. “It’s been a fantastic year,” he said.
“It’s brilliant to get four out of the 15 from such a small country and I don’t see why we can’t go on and push for European Tour titles. We’ve got everything in front of us so we are looking forward to next year.”
MacIntyre, the youngest of the quartet at 22 and another player in his rookie season as a professional, ended up in 12th spot, two above 27-year-old Law, who overcame cracking his driver after the opening two rounds in the UAE to hang on to the top-15 spot he’d held since June.
“It’s been a great week for me personally and for all Scottish guys. A massive positive,” said MacIntyre while Law added: “It’s been a great year for the Scottish boys. Liam had great success earlier in the year and I think we have all fed off that. We have all bounced off each other.”
Portugal’s Pedro Figueiredo pipped Englishman Tom Murray for the 15th and final card by just 604 points after finishing joint 13th in an event won by Spain’s Adri Arnhaus.