Friday, August 01, 2014


 Chris Robb (left) and Graeme Robertson pose with the championship trophy for photographer Kenny Smith.



Summary by ED HODGE, SGU Press Officer
A new name will be on the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship trophy after Meldrum House’s Chris Robb and Graeme Robertson of Glenbervie progressed to Saturday’s 36-final at Downfield.
On a day of surprises over the former Open qualifying venue, Robb and Robertson held their nerve to set up the Angus showdown, starting at 8.30am tomorrow.
While the top two seeds Bradley Neil and Grant Forrest saw their hopes end at the quarter-final stage in the SGU’s flagship event, and the bid of 2001 champion Barry Hume come a halt in the last-four, Robertson and Robb marched on for debut final appearances.
Robertson, the 26-year-old SGU Men’s Squad player, had not been past the quarter-finals previously, while Robb, 23, has found his form after defeats in the early rounds in past years.
Robertson into the final at Downfield
It’s been a season of contrasting seasons for the pair. While Robertson was part of Scotland’s European Nations Cup-winning side, he admits his individual form has been “quiet”, while Robb has returned from finishing his college career in the US to claim two domestic Men’s Order of Merit titles.
Now they go head-to-head for the right to follow in the footsteps of last year’s champion, Alexander Culverwell, and emulate other past winners like Colin Montgomerie, Dean Robertson and Stephen Gallacher.
Dean Robertson was out following the action today, along with Monifieth legend Ian Hutcheon, the 1973 winner at Carnoustie, and the finalists hope to now get their hands on the famous silverware.
“I didn’t come into the week with any expectations, I’ve not had a great matchplay history,” said Robb, who signed off his time at the University of Chattanooga with a 64 in the NCAA Championship to earn All-American honours.
“I’ve tried to ignore my opponent as much as I can. Obviously, I’ve been talking to them during the rounds, but really concentrate on my own game. I’ve tried to have the mindset of playing a stroke play event.
“I’ve been talking to my friend and caddy Liam Johnston between shots, just trying to relax. I also like American-style tree-lined courses like this, it suits my eye. Graeme is a very good player and it should be a good match.”
Robb produced an impressive finish of five-under-par for five holes to see of 2013 SGU Men’s Order of Merit winner Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) 3&1 in the quarters, before ending Josh Jamieson’s bid by 4&3 in the semi-finals.
Jamieson had earlier produced the shock of the week after knocking out Amateur champion and top seed Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie) – both former team-mates in the Scottish Golf Academy – by the margin of 3 and 2.
Robb, who has played college golf with young American pros like Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay and Harris English and currently works with Scottish Golf National Under-18’s coach Neil Marr at Meldrum House, added: 
“I think there are a few members coming down from Meldrum tomorrow. It would definitely be good to take the title back to Aberdeen after David Law’s two wins in the championship (in 2009 and 2011).”

Meantime, Robertson came through a titanic battle with St Andrews Links Trophy winner and international team-mate Grant Forrest of Craigielaw, edging home in their quarter-final at the 22nd.
After a short lunch, Robertson then wasted little time in defeating Hume 6 and 4, bringing to the end a gallant week for ex-Tour pro Hume, who picked up a bronze medal with Jamieson as beaten semi-finalists.
“I felt I had good rhythm towards the end of my round with Grant and kept the momentum going,” said Graeme. “The last few holes against Grant and this afternoon against Barry are the best holes I’ve  played in a while.
“I’ve been saying to myself all year I usually have at least one really good tournament, like third place in the 2012 St Andrews Links and losing a play-off at the Stroke Play in Ireland last year.”
Neil, meanwhile, reflected on his defeat, having clawed back a two-hole deficit to be all square through 11 holes.
“Josh putted really, really well today, putted me off the course pretty much,” said Neil, 18. “But there was then two turning points in a row really. 
"I three-putted 12 to go back to one down and then he holed one up the hill on 13 for a half, when I was stiff for birdie.
“It’s been good preparation this week for America and the upcoming US Amateur, as I reckon the greens are going to be pretty similar, fast with a lot of run-offs.”
Forrest was equally disappointed having been two up against Robertson with four to play, then stood one up playing the 18th.
“On 18, I hit a good 2-iron and almost just hit it too well and it ran through the fairway,” he said. “I was blocked out by the trees and then didn’t get up and down from the greenside bunker.
“It’s the first time I’ve played 18 this week. I think it affected me, I would have probably hit a 3-iron but it’s my own fault, I should have known.
“I didn’t play well enough today, lost my driving a bit. It’s been the best part of my game for the last couple of weeks. I didn’t leave myself in good enough positions and playing someone like Graeme made that hard. It was always going to be a tight match.”
Entry is free at Downfield for the 36-hole final with tee off at 8.30am and 1pm, so come along and enjoy the action!
> View scores from the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship

> View video clips and photos on SGU Facebook



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