Paul Lawrie behind welcome return of Scottish Challenge in 2022

The Scottish Challenge is returning in 2022, having been revived by Paul Lawrie with the backing of one of his long-time sponsors.

David Law won the last staging of the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge at Macdonald Spey Valley in Aviemore in 2018. Picture: Tony Marshall/Getty Images.

The event, which was last held in 2018, when it produced a home winner in David Law, is to be held at Newmachar, near Aberdeen, on 26-29 May.

The welcome news was revealed as the 2022 Challenge Tour schedule was announced, with the Farmfoods Scottish Challenge supported by the R&A among 31 tournaments in 18 different countries.

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The event was held for 13 years in a row, having been launched at Murcar Links in 2006 before it was hosted for the next two years at Macdonald Cardrona, near Peebles.

It then moved to Macdonald Spey Valley in Aviemore with SSE Scottish Hydro as the title sponsor during its prolonged run there from 2009 to 2018.

In addition to Law, two other Scots, Jamie McLeary and George Murray, landed the title on home soil, while the event will always be synonymous with Brooks Koepka.

In securing a third win of the season, the American secured automatic promotion to the European Tour when he won the event in 2013 and has gone on to become a four-time major winner.

Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston also tasted victory in Aviemore before he went on to become one of the most recognisable figures in European golf.

The event’s return is down to Lawrie making it happen through his sports management and events company, Five Star Sports Agency.

The 1999 Open champion hosted the Paul Lawrie Match Play on the European Tour for three years on the European Tour and is currently doing likewise with the Scottish Senior Open on the Legends Tour.

He also launched the Tartan Pro Tour, a circuit for Scottish-based players, in 2020 to provide playing opportunities during the Covid-19 pandemic and that comprised 11 events this year.

With the backing of both Farmfoods and the R&A, the Aberdonian has now added another exciting tournament to a mouth-watering 2022 schedule in Scotland.

Teeing it off, the Farmfoods Scottish Challenge will be followed by the Genesis Scottish Open, the 150th Open, the Senior Open, the Hero Open, the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, the AIG Women’s Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

The 20022 Challenge Tour prize fund will surpass the €8 million mark for the first time, with a return to China for the first time since 2019 also on the cards.

The finale of the 2022 Road to Mallorca will return to Club de Golf Alcanada, the setting for the 2019 Grand Final, where the top 45 players will compete for 20 DP World Tour cards for the 2023 season.

The top five graduates will also receive the John Jacobs Bursary, announced last month as part of DP World’s title partnership of the European Tour group’s main tour.

Jamie Hodges, Head of the Challenge Tour, said: “I am incredibly proud to unveil our schedule for the 2022 Road to Mallorca season, which boasts the biggest total prize fund since the Challenge Tour’s inception in 1989.“This expansive global schedule would not be possible without the incredible support of our promoters, national federations and tournament sponsors, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.“We are also very grateful for the commitment of Rolex and the R&A, as well as DP World through their title partnership of the DP World Tour, all of which has helped us raise prize funds and increase playing opportunities for our members, further strengthening the Challenge Tour’s reputation as the perfect platform for players to achieve global success.”The Challenge Tour has been a happy hunting ground for Scottish players in recent years. Law, Bob MacIntyre, Grant Forrest and Calum Hill all won on the main circuit after securing step ups from it.

Ewen Ferguson and Craig Howie were among the 2021 graduates, with Liam Johnston, Craig Ross, Bradley Neil, Euan Walker, Scott Henry, Daniel Young, Ryan Lumsden and Calum Fyfe set to fly the Saltire next season.

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