Ollie Roberts savours 'absolute treat' of winning at Carnoustie in front of Paul Lawrie

Ollie Roberts may have found himself “stuck” in Arizona for more than two years after Covid hit but he’s become a winner back home on the Tartan Pro Tour after using that time productively.

Ollie Roberts shows off his prizes after winning the Tartan Pro Tour's Carnoustie Tour Championship sponsored by Angus Soft Fruits. Picture: Tartan Pro Tour
Ollie Roberts shows off his prizes after winning the Tartan Pro Tour's Carnoustie Tour Championship sponsored by Angus Soft Fruits. Picture: Tartan Pro Tour

In a wet end to the circuit’s third campaign, the 30-year-old triumphed in the Carnoustie Tour Championship sponsored by Angus Soft Fruits after carding rounds of 70 and 71.

Giving him a three-under-par total, Roberts won by a shot from Fraser McKenna (70-72), with the overnight leader, Irishman Brendan McCarroll, sharing third spot with Calum Fyfe, Joe Bryce and Ryan Campbell on one-under.

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“Pretty ideal way to wind down the year and I’m very happy,” said Roberts, who was born in London and grew up in Hong Kong but is a proud Scot. “Carnoustie definitely had its teeth out with the wind and the rain, so it wasn’t easy.”

Two off the lead at the start of the day, the Stirling University graduate mixed four birdies with two bogeys going out before coming home in one-over.

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“I had the putter pretty hot on the front side and it’s a golf course that kind of demands that you try and run up as many birdies as you can then try and hold on for dear life on the way back in. I just about did a good job of that today,” he added.

Campbell was on course for a second success on the circuit as he stood two-under for the day after 13 holes only to run up a triple-bogey 7 at the 15th then bogey the 17th.

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“I was playing with Ryan and he was playing so solid and not really giving me anything. But I definitely thought my birdie at 14 would help then it kind of turned at 15,” said Roberts.

“Neither of us played that hole very well but I had more of an idea that it was kind of tipping in my favour after 15. But you can’t get ahead of yourself on that golf course as those last three holes will find you out if you do and, thankfully, I managed to guide it through those last three pretty well.”

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Worth £4,250, the win came in his fourth start on the circuit this season. “I was back in Hong Kong in 2018-2019 and had full status for the China Tour and some starts on the PGA Tour China in 2020, but that obviously got blown out of the water because of Covid,” said Roberts.

“I then got stuck in America when they shut the borders in 2020, so I’ve been in Scottsdale for the last two-and-a-half years living in Arizona. There’s obviously worse places in the world to get stuck.”

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The Tartan Pro Tour was set up by Paul Lawrie in 2020 and has gone from strength to strength. “I’ve been very fortunate to play all over the world, but it’s the best experience I’ve had professionally,” said Roberts. “Carving out my own little bit of history today, winning there then shaking hands with Paul where won (in the 1999 Open) - that’s an absolute treat and you can’t do that if they aren’t running this tour.”

Jack McDonald, another Stirling University graduate, topped the season-long Order of Merit, securing seven starts on the Challenge Tour next season in the process.

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