Robertson Helps Europe Achieve Palmer Cup Glory
Glenbervie’s Graeme Robertson played his part as Europe today claimed seven of eight matches and halved the other to stage a dramatic comeback and claim the 2012 Palmer Cup at The Royal County Down Golf Club.
Team Europe overcame a four-point deficit to win the prestigious college event 13.5-10.5 in Northern Ireland and continue the continent’s domination of the USA in team events.
With The Ryder Cup, Walker Cup, Solheim Cup and Curtis Cup all held on this side of the Atlantic, The Palmer Cup can now be added to that impressive list. It is thought to be the first time in history all five team trophies are in European/Great Brtiain & Ireland hands.
Dutchman Daan Huizing, the runaway winner of the Lytham Trophy and St Andrews Links, started Europe’s run by beating Justin Thomas 4&3.
The European charge continued and Robertson, who had lost his first three matches in the competition, also came up trumps with a crucial victory.
The SGU National Men’s Squad player, a University of Stirling student, defeated Derek Ernst 2&1, to take the team lead for Europe. Ernst eagled the first to take the early advantage but Robertson, 24, responded by winning both the fourth and fifth holes to move to one up.
Ernst levelled the match at the turn and it was nip and tuck from there, before Robertson closed the match by winning the 17th. Robertson’s Stirling team-mate David Booth (Rotherham) clinched The Palmer Cup for Europe with a two-hole victory over James White.
"It feels awesome to win," said Robertson. "I played really well today, hit him with a lot of birdies, so it was definitely good to do my bit for the team.
"I remember looking at the scoreboard after 11 holes and we were up in every game, the board was all blue, it was nice to see.
"Everyone just concentrated on their own games and we managed to do it. I really enjoyed the experience."
“After the first day we were very disappointed, of course, and we had a long meeting,” added Europe Coach Rickard Lindberg, who was supported by Scotsman David Inglis, the former Walker Cup player.
“I told them that we could still win this because there were a lot of points out there. They really gave it a shot and came through on top. It was just unreal.”
SGU Men’s Order of Merit leader Robertson has enjoyed a fine season to date, including winning the Craigmillar Park Open and finishing third in the St Andrews Links.
* Edinburgh’s Raymond Russell today went some way in making up for a season wrecked by illness by winning the Challenge Provincia di Varese for his maiden Challenge Tour title.
Having earned his European Tour card via the 2010 Challenge Tour Rankings, the ex-Scottish Youths champion played just one event on the 2011 schedule as a debilitating virus kept him out of action all year, and he has had to return to the Challenge Tour this season to start all over again.
But in his seventh start of 2012 on the second tier, he emerged victorious at Golf Club Varese in northern Italy, a final round three-under-par 67 taking him to 17-under-par, one shot ahead of Argentine Daniel Vancsik, who produced a magnificent round of 64 to pile on the pressure.
“You’re always trying to win,” Russell said. “That’s why we practise hard. Finishing second or third is nice but we’re trying to win every week. Does it make up for missing last season? Not really, because it’s one tournament and I missed a whole year. But it helps.
“I’ve felt it coming the last few weeks. I played nicely in Saint-Omer for a spell and in Madeira I played well. So it’s been coming, and it’s nice to finish it off.” Fellow Scot Andrew McArthur, a member of Team Scottish Hydro this season, shared fifth place.
* Scotland’s hopes of success at the Brabazon Trophy at Walton Heath faded on another difficult day for scoring in round three.
Adam Dunton (McDonald), Paul Shields (Kirkhill) and Brian Soutar (Leven GS) are the best-placed Scots on 12-over-par, 13 shots behind the new leader, Neil Raymond (Corhampton).
* Stirling’s Craig Lee, a member of Team Scottish Hydro in 2011 who successfully graduated to The European Tour this year, is in contention going into the final round of the Irish Open tomorrow.
Lee fired a sparkling 67 earlier today for a an eight-under-par total and a share of sixth spot, four shots behind leader Jamie Donaldson.