SILVERKNOWES star Graham Robertson joined the long list of Lothians players to win SGU Order of Merit events thanks to the combined input of Annika Sorenstam’s coach and a former Scottish PGA champion.
The 34-year-old signed off the season in style by winning the Edward Trophy at Glasgow Gailes, where he finished ahead of Walker Cup second reserve Ross Kellett as well as defending champion Philip McLean.
It was a tremendous effort from Robertson, who felt “intimidated” when he first started to play on the SGU circuit but has watched his game come on leaps and bounds over the last couple of seasons. Last year he won the Stuart Cup, as leading qualifier for the Lothians Championship, then topped the Lothians Order of Merit.
This season he made the six-man side for the Scottish Area Team Championship for the first time and now he’s won one of the oldest trophies in the game, dating back to 1892.
“The catalyst for everything I’ve achieved lately was probably the winter before last,” reflected Robertson. “My partner, Linda Bain, and I had been on holiday in Florida and came across the new Annika Sorenstam Academy.
“We booked to go back the following winter and spent three days working with Henry Reis, who is Annika’s long-time swing coach.
“After that, I went to see Ian Young up at the Braid Hills Golf Centre and he’s helped make a difference to my game as well. The stuff out in Florida was quite technical, which was good. What Ian offers, on the other hand, is more about playing the game and I’ve definitely benefitted from a combination of the two.”
Robertson gained “a lot of confidence” from his Stuart Cup success early last year and decided it was time to try and test himself at a higher level in the SGU events.
“Initially, I found playing in them really tough,” he added. “I was intimidated by some of the people I found myself playing with but you gradually get comfortable with that.
“It was definitely a goal to win one of the SGU Order of Merit events one day but I must admit I didn’t expect that to happen this year.”
Robertson, a member of the Silverknowes side that has won the Dispatch Trophy for the last two years, shot rounds of 72, 71, 71 and 67 for a two-shot victory in Ayrshire.
“As I was playing my final round, I was saying to myself that even if I came up short it was still going to be great experience for me,” he said.
“My main goal this year had been to break into the six-man team and I was delighted to achieve that. To have won an event like the Edward Trophy is beyond my wildest dreams, to be honest, and it caps a great couple of years for me.
“On the one hand, I’m disappointed it was the final event of the season.
“But, on the other, I probably need a rest.
“I think that’s eight or nine of these four-rounders that I’ve played in recently and playing 72 holes at the weekend is quite tough, especially when you’re back at work on the Monday.
“I aim to play in roughly the same events again next season, including the Dispatch Trophy.
“I’ll play in as many of the SGU Order of Merit events as I can, though I will probably try and build a break into the middle of the season somewhere.”