THERE will be a St Helens connection among the field at this year's Open Golf Championship which starts at Carnoustie today (Thursday).

James Robinson, a coach at the Rainford-based Clarkes Golf centre, will compete in the sport's oldest and most famous tournament.

He claimed his spot among the field for the 147th Open Championship just two weeks ago in remarkable circumstances, as he shot rounds of 66 and 65 for a 12-under par total which won him the 36-hole Final Qualifying competition at St Annes Old Links by two strokes. 

Robinson is scheduled for a 10.53am tee-off time today, and he will play alongside Haraldur Magnus, from Iceland, and South African Zander Lombard for Thursday and Friday's rounds.

World-ranked 1,725th, Robinson achieved the feat a week after being part of a five-way tie for first place in the 18-hole regional first stage which too place at Fairhaven, where 12 spots were available from more than 100 starters.

Ahead of his big week, Robinson, aged 29, has been warming himself up at the famous Scottish course, nicknamed The Beast, which last hosted the Open in 2007.

And he has revelled in meeting with the sport's biggest names, taking to Twitter during practise rounds with former Masters champions Sergio Garcia and Danny Willett.

Robinson began playing golf at Gathurst Golf Club, in Shevington, Wigan before joining Southport and Ainsdale as a teenager.

He won the Lytham Trophy in 2009 and was a member of the England elite squad before he turned professional.

Robinson has won two events on the EuroPro Tour and came through the European Tour qualifying school at the sixth attempt in 2015 – a season in which he had a runner-up finish on the Challenge Tour.

He has not had the chance to play much competitive golf in the last 12 months, as he concentrates on working towards his PGA qualification at the Clarkes Golf Centre.

After qualifying, he said: “It feels amazing to finally make it to The Open.

“I’ve barely picked up a golf club for nine months and it’s back to work tomorrow coaching."