JAMES Robinson has made history by becoming the first amateur to win an event on the PGA EuroPro Tour. Robinson, 22, was only competing at the VEKA and Network VEKA UK Open at De Vere Slaley Hall in Northumberland after being given a sponsors’ invite into the tournament.
But that did not stop him as he finished one shot ahead of Jamie Abbott and James Hepworth, although Robinson’s amateur status meant he did not collect the £10,000 top prize, which was instead shared between Abbott and Hepworth.
“It’s a great honour to be the first amateur player to win on the EuroPro Tour,” said Robinson. “I’m sure there will be others that will follow in my footsteps but it’s nice to be the first.
“I’m thinking about turning professional and it all depends on how I do at Tour School, so I will just wait and see.
“I’m a bit gutted to not get the £10,000, but I don’t want to turn professional and then struggle. I would rather be ready, experienced and fully equipped. I’m getting really good coaching and it develops you as a player, but I certainly have the taste of being a professional.
“This victory does a lot for my confidence as I’ve proved myself in a bigger field with better players. My biggest win before this was in the Lytham Trophy which was massive for me and great to win at my favourite course in front of my mum and dad. But it’s very nice to go and win a professional event as well and it’s hard to say what the best win was.
“On the last day it was just a case of holding on to the lead as we (Robinson and playing partner Hepworth) were egging each other on. He needed to do well to try and get his Challenge Tour card, but knew if I won it wouldn’t affect how much money he won so he was made up for me.”
Robinson who plays at Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club began the final day with a two-shot advantage and held his nerve to triumph.
The eighth hole proved crucial as Robinson claimed a birdie while James Hepworth, who started the day in second place, registered a bogey.
Hepworth’s hopes of winning for the second time this season ended on the 11th when he shot a double-bogey six at the par-four hole.
Robinson can now add victory on the EuroPro Tour to his impressive list of achievements that included representing England at the 2009 Home Internationals after his success at the Lytham Trophy.
Four players – George Woolgar, Graeme Clark (Doncaster), James Busby (The Shropshire) and Matt Allen – all finished in tied fourth.
A number of players claimed low scores on the last day to catapult themselves up the leader board.
Nick McCarthy (Moortown) finished in the top 10 after four birdies in the opening five holes helped him to a final round of seven-under and a total of nine-under.
Kevin Harper (East Devon) and Neil Walker (Rotherham Golf Club) also ended in the top 20 after last day scores of six-under.
The top finishers:
1. James Robinson 66 65 73 204 -12
2. James Hepworth 66 67 72 205 -11; Jamie Abbott 66 71 67 205 -11
4. George Woolgar 68 70 68 206 -10; Matt Allen 67 70 69 206 -10; Graeme Clark 68 70 68 206 -10; James Busby 66 72 68 206 -10
8. Nick McCarthy 69 73 65 207 -9;Kevin Harper 69 72 66 207 -9; James Ruebotham 67 73 67 207 -9; Ross Cameron 71 68 68 207 -9; Paul Maddy 69 69 69 207 -9; Adam Frayne 68 70 69 207 -9; Gary Wolstenholme 69 68 70 207 -9.