Star pairing set to fight for Craigmillar Park Open title

Graeme Robertson is defending champion
Graeme Robertson is defending champion
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There’s no such a thing as a certainty in golf, especially in an event played over 72 holes, but there is a good chance that the winner of this year’s Craigmillar Park Open will be teeing off at 7.18am in tomorrow’s opening round.

The group out then, after all, includes two players with strong credentials to claim victory in what is – and traditionally has been for a number of years – the opening event in this season’s Scottish Golf Order of Merit.

One of them is Glenbervie’s Graeme Robertson, who is heading to the Capital venue not just as the defending champion but seeking a title hat-trick, having also come out on top in the event back in 2012.

On that occasion, he finished on 13-under-par, beating a former winner, East Renfrewshire’s Craig Watson, by a shot after holding his nerve to hole a six-foot putt on the final hole.

Twelve months ago, Robertson triumphed in a play-off against Cawder’s Calum Fyfe after the pair had tied on 15-under-par, two shots ahead of Fyfe’s clumate Jamie Savage and Kilmacolm’s Matthew Clark in joint-third.

In his first outing of the domestic season, he won the Scottish Champion of Champions at the beginning of the month, carding rounds of 65-72-69-71 in a wire-to-wire victory at Leven Links.

The second player in that early group tomorrow is Turnhouse man Euan McIntosh, who finished in the top ten over in Fife and now sets out in defence of the Scottish Golf Order of Merit title he won at the age of 47 last year.

Not by any manner of means is the event a two-horse race, though, with other leading contenders likely to be past winners like Clark and Peebles player Craig Howie. Off +4.6, Howie has the lowest handicap in a field that also includes his younger brother, Darren.

Watson, a loyal supporter of the event, is back for another title tilt and winning in the Capital again would be quite a story in the year he leads GB&I into battle in the Walker Cup in Los Angeles.

Bidding to emulate Nick Faldo by landing an English triumph in the event are Andrew Minnikin, Nicholas Peoples, Richard Aisbitt and Sean Heads