Scottish golfer Chris Robb excited to get European Tour restarted in Austria

Aberdonian will hit opening shot in event marking circuit’s return

Aberdonian Chris Robb only found out at midday on Monday that he'd secured a spot in the Austrian Open and is now set to hit the opening shot at Diamond Country Club, near Vienna, as the European Tour restarts following a four-month lockdown
Aberdonian Chris Robb only found out at midday on Monday that he'd secured a spot in the Austrian Open and is now set to hit the opening shot at Diamond Country Club, near Vienna, as the European Tour restarts following a four-month lockdown

Former Scottish amateur champion Chris Robb will hit the first shot when the European Tour restarts tomorrow after a four-month lockdown due to Covid-19.

The Aberdonian only found out at lunchtime on Monday that he'd secured a spot in the field for this week's Austrian Open at Diamond Country Club, near Vienna.

Now he's set to signal the circuit's restart after being the first man on the tee sheet for the opening round on Thursday.

Robb, who claimed the Scottish Amateur title at Downfield in 2014, is out with English pair Andrew Wilson and Matt Ford at 7am local time.

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"That’s exciting," he told The Scotsman. "It will be cool to be hitting the first shot of the tour's return."

The Meldrum House man is flying the Saltire in the event along with Connor Syme, Ewen Ferguson, Craig Howie, Marc Warren, Scott Henry and Craig Ross.

"I only heard I'd got into the field about midday on Monday as I was flying out here," added Robb.

"I was second reserve when I left home but just thought with all that’s going on it was with taking the risk that I’d get in.

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"With a lot of cancelled flights around, it was a relief to be on the plane to Vienna and now I'm excited to be back playing again.

"I spent pretty much 12 weeks with hitting a single shot other than a few putts on the carpet.

"It was nice to be home for a while, but I'm ready to compete again and happy with how the game is feeling in practice."

The event marks the first week of a new comprehensive health strategy on the European Tour.

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Developed by the circuit's chief medical officer, Dr Andrew Murray, it will be implemented for the remainder of the 2020 season.

In order to help mitigate risk, all players, caddies and other personnel on-site are being tested using Cignpost’s rapid Covid-19 screening products and services.

"They seem pretty good," said Robb of the protocols. "It was strict on arrival, with tests as soon as we arrived and limited access to the course.

"Although Austria in general seems to be very relaxed about the whole thing, it is much stricter in the course area."

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