George Murray has welcomed the news that the Scottish Hydro Challenge will continue to be staged at Spey Valley in Aviemore until at least 2018.
The event, launched in 2006, has become one of the top tournaments on the second tier of European golf and will continue to feature on the Challenge Tour schedule for the next four years following an announcement made yesterday by its main sponsors Scottish Hydro, Macdonald Hotels and Resorts, and EventScotland.
Murray, a winner of the championship in 2010, reckons this is fantastic news and will be warmly received by the players on the circuit.
"My win there was a massive confidence boost for me and opened so many doors." - George Murray
"The Scottish Hydro Challenge has been one of the most important events in my career," he told bunkered.co.uk. "My win there was a massive confidence boost for me and opened so many doors.
"There are a lot of people in Scotland, and looking at Scotland, right now who are wondering what kind of legacy will be left by the Ryder Cup. This announcement should send a clear message that the spin-offs of this year's match will be far-reaching and, more to the point, long-reaching."
The announcement of the continued support for the Scottish Hydro Challenge makes it one of the longest-running tournaments on the Challenge Tour and, by the time 2018 rolls around, it will have been played at Spey Valley for a decade.
Murray added: "We're lucky that there are organisations out there, like Scottish Hydro and Macdonald Hotels and Resorts, that are prepared to invest time and money in our game. Not just the glamorous parts at the top end of the game, which are easy to want to get involved in, but the grassroots parts upwards."
George Murray thankful for home support
This week sees the ninth installment of the championship take place and, with admission free of charge, and George Murray is hopeful that a large home crowd will turn out to support he and his fellow Scots as they seek to emulate last year's winner, Brooks Koepka.
"It would be great to have a home winner - me, preferably!" - George Murray
"There's nothing like playing in front of your own folk," he said. "They can help you find that extra gear when you most need it.
"The Scottish Hydro Challenge is such a well-run event. It's one of the highlights of the season and not just for the Scottish boys. What's more, it's easy for spectators to get in and follow us and I hope that they will. This is the first big event of what is shaping up to be another busy summer of golf in Scotland and it would be great to have a home winner - me, preferably! - to kick-start it."
Watch George Murray
The Scottish Hydro Challenge takes place from June 26-29 at Spey Valley in Aviemore. Admission is free on the door.