It looks as though the Scottish Hydro Challenge will be absent from the Challenge Tour schedule this year for the first time since 2006.
The popular tournament, won in 2018 by Scotland’s David Law, doesn’t feature on the 2019 list of tournaments for European golf’s second tier.
A four-year agreement between the Scottish Government, Macdonald Hotels and SSE to stage the event expired after last year’s event.
There is an outside chance that it could still take place this year but, according to tournament promoter Iain Stoddart, it’s more likely that it will sit this season out.
“There are a few things that have worked against us a little bit for this year,” he revealed. “You could say we’re in a bit of a re-setting period. If you need five spokes to make a wheel, we’ve probably got four of them in place – but you need all five.
“There’s no pessimism whatsoever about the tournament. It’s well supported and the players all love it. We’re just going through a bit of realignment as a result of various different dynamics. This year may be a bridge too far for us but, if it doesn’t take place this year, it will certainly return in 2020.”
The Scottish Challenge was first played in 2006, with England’s Sam Walker winning at Murcar Links. It then spent two years at Cardrona before moving, in 2009, to Spey Valley where it has been staged every year since.
The event has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Scots, with Jamie McLeary, George Murray and the aforementioned Law, above, all getting their hands on the trophy.
Brooks Koepka’s victory in 2013 proved to be the launchpad for the great things the three-time major winner and former world No.1 has gone to achieve. Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston succeeded the American as champion in 2014.
Interestingly, of the 25 tournaments on the 2019 Challenge Tour schedule at present, none are taking place in Great Britain.