Robinson set for challenge ahead

Simon Robinson is looking for a big season on the European Challenge Tour.

Simon Robinson is looking for a big season on the European Challenge Tour.

The 25-year-old from Hartlepool admits last year was a big learning curve after a spectacular 2005 on the Eurpro Tour when he won four times - three of those victories were in a row.

He was back in the winner's circle when he shot 66 64 at Redcar to win the Cleveland Masters, an open for pro and amateurs.

"I might have won three in a row on the Europro Tour but to be honest last year on the Challenge Tour was a bit of a struggle even though I did manage to keep my card," said Robinson, who is looking for more backing to finance his European bid this year.

"Even though it wasn't the best of years, I need to learn from that experience.

"I can play a mix of Challenge and Europro events, but I want to play predominantly on the Challenge Tour, but it depends on how many tournaments I get into.

"If I get into most of them then I hope to do well, but it's not easy to play in them all as it's quite expensive.

"However, a few people are helping me out and I do have the money I won on the Europro Tour and I'm just hoping that doesn't run out otherwise I could be scraping along."

Robinson has been helped by sponsorship from Golfing Futures, which was set up by NE and NW PGA secretary and former Durham County captain and president Tom Flowers, plus John Stainsby and Robinson's estate agents.

He's close friends with former Durham County team-mate Graeme Storm, now on the main European tour, and Robinson often caddied for Storm in major amateur events.

Robinson enjoyed a glittering amateur career representing England at both boys and full level and winning both the European and World Boys Championship before going on a golfing scholarship at the University of Houston in Texas.

He admits he found it difficult in the USA after problems with his coach and getting settled in. Despite that he still earned a place on the Conference USA All Tournament Team and believes he learned a lot about himself and became mentally tougher.

That was evident in the spectacular season on the Europro Tour but Robinson added: "After the first year on Europro Tour I didn't change things very much, which I think was a bit of a mistake.

"I was confident and happy with my game and just stayed the same and that hurt me last season.

This winter I've gone back to working hard and improving my game and I think I'm in a better position to do well this year."

Even the departure of coach Rob Symes from the David Leadbetter Academy at Wynyard hasn't fazed him and he said: "I've started working with Andrew Nicholson there and while I've never been one to get too involved in working on technique, it's going well.

HEXHAM'S Ben Taylor finished joint 17th in the Colonial Athletic Association championship at The Homestead-Cascades Golf Club, Hot Springs in Virginia.

The Northumberland County player, who is at Georgia State University, had rounds of 73, 72 and 76 for 221.

Chris Paisley, from Stocksfield, who is at Tennessee University, was runner-up on 215 in the Southeast Conference Men's College Championship at Sea Island, Georgia. Paisley shot 76, 70 and 69.

Not surprisingly, Tennessee (869) won the team title from Alabama (871) with Auburn (874) third and Mississippi fourth (876) in a field of 12 college squads.

V PGA Cup player Graeme Bell finished a superb round with a flourish at Selby in the North East qualifying round for the Glenmuir Club Pros Championship.

The Eaglescliffe pro left the field in his wake with a five-under 66, polishing off the par-five 18th by hitting his 106-yard third shot into the hole for an eagle that hoisted him to a three-shot victory over Ganton's Gary Brown.

Now Graeme heads for the 72-hole Glenmuir final at Royal Porthcawl from June 12-15, when the winner picks up not only £10,000, but an automatic place in the PGA Cup match - the club pros version of the Ryder Cup - against the United States in Georgia in September.

Graeme was a member of the GB and Ireland team which lost in Florida four years ago.

V GOSFORTH are holding a free golf taster day on May 20 when club members will play with beginners. There will also be lessons from the club.

To book a place call (0191) 285 3495 in the mornings, the club pro on (0191) 285 0553 visit www.gosforthgolfclub.com, or send an email gosforth.golf@virgin.net.

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