Monday, May 03, 2010

Robertson out to show true form in Lothians bid

Silverknowes star Graham Robertson is hoping to improve his "horrendous" record in the Lothians Championship this week after qualifying in top spot thanks to a Stuart Cup success at Castle Park and Royal Musselburgh on Saturday.
The 33-year-old, who pipped Scott Young of Turnhouse and Dunbar's Stephen Simants in a card play-off after they had tied on 140, has never got past the second round and is determined to change that at Royal Burgess, where the match-play phase begins tonight.
"In the seven or eight times I've qualified my record is horrendous and hopefully this year I will have a good run," said Robertson, who followed a 66 in his morning round at Royal Musselburgh with a 74 at Castle Park near Gifford.
He birdied the first three holes at Royal Musselburgh and had recovered from a contrasting start in the afternoon – he was two-over after four – before fearing he'd blown his chances of victory by dropping shots at each of the last three holes at Castle Park.
"I got a bad break at the 17th and would have been annoyed if that had cost me the Stuart Cup," added Robertson, who was runner-up to Steven Armstrong on one occasion in recent years and felt he'd been "knocking on the door" in this event.
Young, who qualified for the Faldo Series Final in Brazil towards the end of last year, underlined his potential with solid rounds of 69 (Royal Musselburgh) and 71 (Castle Park), with Simants, a semi-finalist at Craigielaw 12 months ago, having the same scores but the opposite way around.
Malcolm Campbell, the ever-improving Swanston New club champion, finished on 142 alongside Pumpherston's Paul Drake, who put up a decent defence of the Stuart Cup, and Allyn Dick of Kingsknowe, with Marriott Dalmahoy's Robert Carson two shots further back in seventh.
Haddington's Keith Nicholson, the defending champion, made it through safely on 147, while other qualifiers included former Scottish mid-amateur champion Craig Elliot and Scotland team captain Scott Knowles, who will bridge a 30-year gap if he can regain the title this week.
Colin Swanston, the 1999 winner from Uphall, was unable to take up his spot in the 32 qualifiers, as were Dunbar's Stephen Neilson and Craigielaw junior captain Greg Smail.
Among those who missed out were Tom Caldwell, Andy Laurence, Stephen Neilson, Michael Creasey and, surprisingly, two former winners in Steven Armstrong and Mark Timmins.
+The full article above appears in Edinburgh Evening News newspaper today.



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