When no less a golfing authority than Paul McGinley says this, you begin to appreciate the important role the Challenge Tour.
“Events like this week’s on the Challenge Tour are very important,” he says. “They give players confidence so that they are well equipped and able to establish themselves on the European Tour.”
“There is a big gap in Ireland between being a top-level amateur to being established on the European Tour,” he says. “It is not easy to make that transition.
“There are a lot of real quality players in that gap and that’s why the Challenge Tour is so key. If you are good enough to come off this tour, which is a really good quality tour in terms of standards, then you are good enough to keep your card on the European Tour.
“I think in Ireland we like to support a lot of different levels of golf. Our amateur game is really strong and we have a great schedule for our top amateur players.
The European Challenge Tour runs from Thursday 14th of September to Sunday the 17th.