but in the end there was delight for Chris Robb as he eased to victory in the 36-hole final of the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship.
He may have been swinging in the rain en route to a 4 and 3 win over Graeme Robertson, but there was one solo performance he was certainly not looking forward to in the wake of the biggest triumph of his career.
"I'm such a terrible public speaker and I'm crapping myself ahead of the winner's speech," admitted the Aberdeenshire man with a wry grin. Robb has let his clubs do most of the talking over a glory-laden month on the domestic order of merit circuit. Having won the East of Scotland Open by eight shots and the Cameron Corbett Vase by four strokes recently, this major matchplay moment kept his profitable strike rate going. It's now three wins in his last three events.
"It would be nice to keep that going for the rest of the season," he said. Members at the Meldrum House club can now raise a glass to two national champions as Robb's success came hard on the heels of Barry Brooks' conquest in the Scottish Seniors Matchplay Championship. "My record in matchplay events has not been good until now," added Robb. "I'm delighted, but wins like this take a bit of time to sink in."
It was Robertson, the Scotland cap from Glenbervie, who seized the early initiative in the morning's opening round as Robb three-putted the third and then found water on the fourth to fall two behind.
The pair were level pegging by the sixth, however, and Robb won the 10th, 12th and 13th to move three ahead. By lunch, though, it was still pretty tight with Robertson managing to get back to within a hole. The nip-and-tuck nature of the contest continued in the worsening conditions of the afternoon, but having allowed his opponent to restore parity with a bogey on the 20th hole, Robb produced a telling thrust with a trio of birdies at the 24th, 25th and 26th to surge back to a three-hole advantage. In the City of Discovery, Robertson began to mount a recovery but, having got to within a hole after the 28th, the crucial moment arrived on the long 29th as his menacing advances were thwarted.
As he looked to exert some pressure with the momentum growing, Robertson, after some initial indecision, launched a raking approach to the green with a rescue club but it flew well right into a sodden clump of rough where he was lucky to find it.
With his rival in a fairly desperate position, Robb sensibly adopted the cautious approach and laid up with a wedge before hopping in to the green and winning the hole with a par five to double his lead. If that was a damaging blow for Robertson, then he was left reeling on the ropes on the next when Robb conjured a sublime chip from 15 yards that trundled into the cup for a hole-winning birdie.
"I knew it was a good chip, but it was a bonus that it went in," said Robb. "You have a few thoughts of winning when something like that happens, but I try not to look too far ahead as things can wrong quickly in matchplay golf."
They kept going right for Robb, though. Another birdie on the 31st put him four up and there was no way back for Robertson.
"That approach on the 11th (the 29th) was just a poor shot," lamented Robertson. "When he chipped in on the next, I kind of thought it wouldn't be my day."