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Luke Donald, Jeev Milkha Singh, Phil Mickelson, Alex Noren – you can now add Chris Maclean to the list of those who have won a tour event at Castle Stuart Golf Links.

The Balmore pro carded a four-under 68 around the four-time Scottish Open host venue near Inverness in the opening event of the 2021 bunkered Get Back To Golf Tour. That was good enough to give him a one-shot victory over Andrew Thompson, John Henry and amateur Ali Hain.

Craig Ross, Ryan Campbell, Christopher Dunbar and John Kelly shared fifth, a further shot adrift.

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Maclean had two halves of 34 in a stiff wind and was delighted with the win.

“I was dead solid all day and didn’t really make too many mistakes,” he said. “Castle Stuart is truly an amazing golf course with some of the best views on any course in Scotland. Truly a ‘must play’. This tour is brilliant and is a great opportunity to play fantastic courses. I know all the guys are buzzing to play in them this year.”

A total of 186 players took part in the competition, which boosted the prize fund to over £5,000, much to the delight of the tour’s creator, the UK Managing Director for GolPhin for Kids Alan Tait.

“What a way to kick off this year’s tour,” he said. “Castle Stuart is a world-class venue and the course was in fantastic condition. The feedback from all the players was so positive and regardless of their scores, everyone had a great time.

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“If we get even half those numbers at each event this year, then we are in for a great season. I couldn’t be more chuffed.”

The second event started at Hayston Golf Club yesterday and runs until Sunday, May 23, before heading on to Arbroath Links.

Returning for a second season after a hugely successful debut in 2020, the bunkered Get Back To Golf Tour has a unique format open to all golf professionals and amateurs with a handicap of two or better.

Unlike other circuits, the tour gives players the flexibility to play and post an 18-hole medal strokeplay score at any point within a fixed 14-day period.

This year’s expanded circuit comprises 12 events and boasts a significant increase in prize money, with 20% of the field at each event winning monetary prizes and vouchers for amateur participants.

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Each of the 12 tournament winners will be invited to play in the tour’s grand final at Dumbarnie Golf Links on October 24. It will come with a minimum additional prize fund of £1,500, the winner receiving a seven-night trip to Orlando, Florida, for two people where they will have playing rights at Eagle Creek Golf Club. The runner-up will receive a trip to the La Cala Resort in Spain.

Any professional or amateur with a handicap of two or better is eligible to take part. To find out more, click here or email [email protected]

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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