Robillard scores golf scholarship

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Sandpiper Golf & Country Club member will tee it up this fall with the NCAA division two University of West Georgia Wolves in the Gulf South Conference

James Robillard scored a hole in one with his golf scholarship to the University of West Georgia.

The Sandpiper Golf & Country Club member will tee it up with the NCAA division two Wolves this fall.

“I went down there on a visit and the big thing that sold me was all the guys that I will be playing with next year. There are a lot of good guys there and I got along with them really well,” Robillard said.

The campus is located in Carrollton, Georgia and is approximately 45 minutes west of Atlanta.

“The university is very modern. They’re always rebuilding stuff so it’s a very new and well restored university. The dorms are very high quality,” Robillard said.

The golf coach is Barry Harwell, who was in charge of the Clayton State University men’s team that included Will Wilcox, who turned pro in 2010.

“I heard a lot of good things about my coach so that really attracted me,” said Robillard.

He joins another Sandpiper golfer and Bellerose Composite High School graduate, Alicia Easthope, in the Gulf South Conference. Easthope will be competing for the University of Montevallo Falcons of Alabama this fall.

Robillard, 18, has goals set for his first season with the Wolves while majoring in accounting.

“I want to keep my grades good to keep the stress off golf,” said the scratch golfer. “I want to play in every tournament so I want to qualify every week and scoring-wise for a freshman I hope to average around 74 and then always get better as the year goes on.”

His strengths are putting (“It would be the best part of my game”), while consistency (“Especially off the tee”) remains a work in progress.

Last year’s highlight for Robillard was winning the popular Sandpiper Canada Day Tournament.

Robillard also qualified for both the Alberta junior and men’s opens and tied for 16th at junior provincials at plus-11 at the Cottonwood Golf & Country Club in Dewinton and was plus-21 for a share of 49th place at the Innisfail Golf & Country Club.

Robillard also tied for first at the Maple Leaf Junior Tour stop in Olds and lost out in the four-hole playoff, tied for third in the U19 division at the Nike Junior Golf Series event at the Henderson Lake Golf Club in Lethbridge and tied for 28th place at the Maple Leaf Golf Tour International Players Championship at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course.

“I did decent at the Alberta junior championship,” said Robillard, who has since aged out of the junior ranks. “This year I would like to come top 10 in the amateur, that’s a goal for myself, and then I would like to qualify for the open championship, the professional event, and then if you come I believe top 16 you make it into the match play event, which is two days after that so that would be ideal.”

Robillard got into the swing of things on the golf course at age 12 before testing his skills on the McLennan Ross Junior Golf Tour.

“I used to play a lot of competitive baseball, that used to be my sport, but it kind of got a little too serious with the coaches and all that stuff so I took up golf just because I simply enjoyed it more,” said Robillard, who works in the pro shop at Sandpiper and in the back shop at the Glendale Golf & Country Club.

“Right now, I probably hit a golf ball every day whether it’s practice or playing a round,” he added. “I like just being outside playing golf. There is nothing better than playing a good round of golf. Playing bad is not really good but when you’re playing good it’s pretty fun.”

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Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen joined the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. He writes about sports, athletes and teams from St. Albert and area.