It doesn’t get more special than a national championship. For the second time in three years, the Chattanooga Mocs celebrate that accomplishment with one of their own. All-American Chris Robb claimed the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship trophy Friday.
He closed out Graeme Robertson 4&3 at Downfield Golf Club. Robb broke up a close match on the 24th hole. The score was all square when the mighty Moc rattled off three straight birdies for the 3up lead with 10 holes to play.
Robertson was undaunted. A birdie on nine cut Robb’s lead to two before the latter bogeyed 10 slicing the margin to one.
Robb got hot again. After winning with a par on 11, he birdied the par three 12th and par five 13th to take a dominating 4up lead with five holes to play. It marked six wins with five birdies in eight holes for Robb. Pars on 15 and 16 ended the 4&3 triumph.
“It hasn't really sunk in yet,” Robb said after the ceremony. “It's obviously awesome. It was a long week at Downfield, but to get a national championship under my belt is a huge accomplishment.
“I’m sure it will sink in for me in a day or two…it's really cool to say you're a national champion.”
It was a dominating week for the Aberdeenshire native. His closest match win was 3&1 over Jack McDonald in the quarterfinals. He won 4&3 twice, 5&4 three times and 7&5 once. In eight rounds, he played the 17th hole two times and the 18th only once and that was because today’s match was 36 holes. He played the last two days with Mocs teammate Liam Johnston on his bag.
“I've had people mention it,” he add. “Liam told me he played the 18th in all four of his matches. I went past the 15th just twice I think. There are three par 5's on the back nine, and I took advantage of it.
“It was a bit of a hilly walk to the 15th tee so I tried to avoid that at all costs this week.”
It was a see-saw match early. Robertson won the fourth and fifth holes for an early 2up lead only to see it evaporate over the next two holes. Robb squared it with a birdie on six. He birdied 10 and moved to a 2up advantage on his own with a par on 12. His birdie on 13 put the Mocs All-American up three.
Robertson responded with a birdie of his own on 14 and won with a par at 16 to close the margin to a hole. Robb’s bogey on the 20th hole levelled the match with 16 holes remaining. It stayed that way until his epic eight-hole run to the title.
It is the third straight win for Robb. After he fantastic finish shooting 64 to earn GCAA/PING All-America honorable mention honors at the NCAA Championships in May, he made it to the round of 16 at the British Amateur before capturing wins at the East of Scotland Championship and Cameron Corbett Vase.
His plan is to go through European Tour Qualifying School this fall. First he heads to St. Andrews for the European Amateur this week with Johnston and Ewan Scott in the field.
“I wish Q-School started today,” he said with a smile and a laugh.