'It is a dream come true' - Falkirk's Graeme Robertson on his qualification for The 151st Open and his tournament goal

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Falkirk golfer Graeme Robertson says it is a “dream come true” to be taking part in The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool after earning a final entry spot via one of the Final Qualifying events.

The Glenbervie ace will travel down south next week knowing he is one of a select few from the district to play in one of golf’s most prestigious major tournaments, and he admits he still can’t quite believe it.

Speaking to the Falkirk Herald, Robertson said: “It is one of those things that you just don’t think will ever happen for yourself. You can dream about it but in all honesty even now it is hard to imagine myself playing in The Open.

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“It is a dream come true and it will be an experience. It will be surreal, it is surreal at the moment. You see the big names that missed out on the tournament and a guy from Falkirk is going.

Golfer Robertson took time out from the range at Forthview teaching clients to speak to the Falkirk Herald before his Open debut (Photo: Michael Gillen)Golfer Robertson took time out from the range at Forthview teaching clients to speak to the Falkirk Herald before his Open debut (Photo: Michael Gillen)
Golfer Robertson took time out from the range at Forthview teaching clients to speak to the Falkirk Herald before his Open debut (Photo: Michael Gillen)

"My friends have been mentioning the top golfers who aren’t going. Guys like Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell who are massive names.

"Even at my qualifying event there were some big names who missed out, guys who have been on the PGA Tour and guys who are part of LIV.”

Robertson is now looking forward to the draw as he hopes to make the cut. From the starting field of 156, that number will be whittled down to around the 70 mark.

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"I will see what the draw is like,” the Falkirk ace explained. “The weather will be important too so that is a case of waiting and seeing how it plays out.

Graeme with sponsor Dennis Amos MD of Site Sealants Ltd in Airth (Photo: Michael Gillen)Graeme with sponsor Dennis Amos MD of Site Sealants Ltd in Airth (Photo: Michael Gillen)
Graeme with sponsor Dennis Amos MD of Site Sealants Ltd in Airth (Photo: Michael Gillen)

“It is such a big field so you can get really lucky or unlucky.

“The goal for me is to make the cut, of course it is. I think I can do that for sure. It isn’t unrealistic to think that because it is achievable.

“Once you get to that point it is all open and you can play anyone really.”

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Robertson earned his qualification through the fourth and final spot at Dundonald Links last Tuesday. He had already lost out in a play-off in his first Regional Qualifier at Goswick and found himself in an alternate spot.

Graeme with Gavin Cowan of ETV Media in conjunction with Forthview (Photo: Michael Gillen)Graeme with Gavin Cowan of ETV Media in conjunction with Forthview (Photo: Michael Gillen)
Graeme with Gavin Cowan of ETV Media in conjunction with Forthview (Photo: Michael Gillen)

Robertson holed out from almost 40ft to edge out fellow Scot Craig Ross on the fifth play-off hole for the last of four places available in Ayrshire, and he will now join six other Scots, including Michael Stewart who qualified out of the same group.

He added: “I did it the hard way and I’m waiting for it to sink in. Unbelievable. I was thinking about Hoylake all the way round. Non-stop. I still can’t believe it is going to happen.

"I played golf as an amateur to a good level and then stopped it for six or seven years and worked full-time and didn't play a lot of golf. I'm just coming back to it so if you had said to me when I was sitting behind a computer desk 7:30 to 5, Monday to Friday, that I would be playing in The Open there's no way I would have believed it.”

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Provided no more than 70 qualify, the Falkirk ace will now also be in line to earn at least $37,800 from the prize money pot.

The R&A announced on Wednesday morning that the winner of the 151st Open Championship will receive a record $3 million (£2.3m) with the total prize pot increasing by 18 per cent to around $16.5 million.

Professionals teeing up on Merseyside are guaranteed a minimum of $8,500.

In the other majors this year, The Masters was played for $18m, the PGA Championship for $17.5m and the US Open for $20m.

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Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A, said: “Our aim is to ensure The Open remains at the pinnacle of world golf and we have almost doubled the prize fund since 2016.

“While we are seeing substantial increases in prize money across the men’s professional game, we are fulfilling our wider obligation to the sport by elevating the AIG Women’s Open, strengthening pathways in the elite amateur game and encouraging more people around the world to play golf.”

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