GRAEME Robertson starts his bid to get back in the Great Britain & Ireland picture when the Glenbervie player defends the Battle Trophy at Crail this weekend.
Less than two years ago, Robertson was arguably Scotland’s leading amateur and beat Derek Ernst, who has since become a winner on the PGA Tour, to help Europe lift the Palmer Cup at Royal Co Down. His career has stalled, though, and Roberton missed out as five other Scots – Grant Forrest, Bradley Neil, Jack McDonald, James Ross and Ewan Scott – were named this week in the GB&I squad for the St Andrews Trophy later this year.
Nigel Edwards, the GB&I captain, insists the door is still open for players not picked to force their way into the team to face the Continent of Europe in Sweden, so Robertson shouldn’t lack incentive in this weekend’s 72-hole event in Fife. While last weekend’s Craigmillar Park Open, the opening SGU Order of Merit event, had an understrength field due to Scotland’s leading lights being in Wales for the Duncan Putter at Southerndown – it’s also staging the Home Internationals this year – that’s not the case on this occasion.
Barassie’s McDonald, who was also picked this week for the Palmer Cup along with Forrest and Ross, is in the field, as are Neil (Blairgowrie) and Dollar’s Scott Borrowman, who has a good track record in Fife, having won the Scottish Champion of Champions at Leven for the last two years.
Dunbar’s Zander Culverwell, last year’s Scottish Amateur champion, is bidding to regain a title he won three years ago and is joined by Greig Marchbank, now playing out of Thornhill.
Craig Watson, the 1997 Amateur champion from East Renfrewshire, will be aiming to take up where he left off at Craigmillar Park, having rolled back the years to win there for a second time, albeit in an event that was reduced to 36 holes due to gale-force winds.
Others aiming to upstage the young guns include Prestwick’s James Bunch, who once beat Justin Rose in the Amateur Championship, and Haggs Castle’s John Mathers, who has been working with Paul Lawrie recently in his role as a sports psychologist.