Monday, April 19, 2010

Dean Robertson out to
nurture Patrick
Spraggs' talent

Former European Tour professional Dean Robertson has vowed to dedicate his time to University of Stirling emerging star Patrick Spraggs.
Spraggs, a first year Sports Studies scholar at Scotland's University for Sporting Excellence, won the 2010 R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament - victory bringing with it a place on the European Team for the Palmer Cup match against the United States in Northern Ireland.
Robertson, the European team coach, watched Spraggs pull away from the rest of the field at St Andrews' Castle Course to win comfortably and was then looking on as the 19-year-old finished a creditable fourth at the British Universities and Colleges Sport Individual Strokeplay final over the Dundonald Links last week.
Spraggs is the only Scottish-based golfer to be named among the eight European students who will take on their American counterparts at Royal Portrush County Golf Club from June 24 to 26.
And Robertson, who along with his assistant Walle Danewid, coached the Europe Palmer Cup team to victory at Cherry Hills last year, is keen to help Spraggs flourish.
He said: "Having won on the European Tour and also played in the Walker Cup, I bring a lot of experience for the guys to tap into and my primary focus is Patrick. I've watched him twice now and his game is most impressive so I'm sure he is going to fit in well with our team.
"There is no doubt he has the talent, but now we need to nurture it so he can prevail on what will be the biggest platform for his game to date. The aim is for him, in terms of his golf, to arrive a boy and leave a man.
"Royal Portrush is one of the best and toughest links in the world and the players will require a lot of craft - it's not just about power. Many of the Americans we faced last year will still be eligible. They went on to play in the Walker Cup team which demolished Europe and I expect the USA team to be very strong."
At the BUCS event, a final-round 72 left Spraggs, supported by a Winning Students scholarship, to rue an earlier round of 81 - the only blot on his copybook in a 295 total over 72 holes.
His performance, combined with that of David Booth (9th), Alex Culverwell (14th) and Bobby Rushford (15th), ensured the University of Stirling ran away with the team title (pictured above).
Spraggs, from Westhorpe in Suffolk, said: "My second round was disappointing and so while I'm happy to have finished fourth, I'm a little frustrated as I feel I could have won it. But on the whole I'm playing well at the moment so I can't complain.
"I'm hitting more greens and using my head a bit more rather than going gung-ho. It is great for Stirling to win the team title. Everyone gets on really well and it is a great set-up so even practising is fun. The camaraderie helps us all to play better and win tournaments."
Other Stirling students' finishing positions at Dundonald Links:
Men - Colin Baird (18th), Colin Thomson (22nd), Andrew Wallace (25th), Fraser Moore (34th) and Graeme Robertson (36th).
Women - Rebecca Wilson (4th) and Harriet Beasley (12th).

+The winning University of Stirling team at Dundonald Links is pictured above (left to right):
David Booth, Patrick Spraggs, Alex Culverwell and Colin Baird (Colin stood in for Bobby Rushford who was unavailable at the time).