Martin Dempster: It’s Scotland’s best-ever season on Challenge Tour

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It’s official. Scottish golfers are enjoying their best-ever season on the Challenge Tour, having now racked up four title triumphs on the second-tier circuit following Liam Johnston’s weekend win in the Kazakhstan Open.

Generally, it has proved a happy hunting ground for our players over the past two decades. Indeed, four times before – in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2012 – had a hat-trick of titles fallen to Saltire standard bearers.

However, the current crop have earned a place in the record books, Johnston leading the way in that respect with a brace of wins and both David Law and Calum Hill also tasting success on the European Tour’s feeder circuit.

To put that into some perspective, the title haul this season exceeds the number of tartan triumphs on the Challenge Tour over the previous five campaigns.

It really is something to shout about because, make no mistake, it’s a tough circuit and some of the golf that has been produced by the Scots on it this season has been truly exceptional.

In claiming his latest victory, Johnston has effectively secured his European Tour card for next season. Strong finishes to the campaign can also see Law and Grant Forrest do likewise by staying inside the top 15 in the Road to Ras Al Khaimah Rankings.

Don’t rule out Hill in that card battle, either, because he’s wasted no time finding his feet back on this side of the Atlantic. In fact, it would be no surprise at all if he won again, either in one of the four regular events remaining or in the season-ending Grand Final in the UAE.

Add in the likes of Ewen Ferguson and Bob MacInytre also having produced some strong performances this season, as well as the Open Championship Silver Medal winner, Sam Locke, having been added to the pack and Craig Howie earning his step up next season off the Pro Golf Tour, and, all of a sudden, the loss of a decade’s worth of talent before this lot came along doesn’t seem quite so painful.

Let’s not rest on our laurels, though. Keep those wins coming boys because it’s proving that success does, indeed, breed success.