“The doctor who eventually came gave my mother two options and said: ‘Either you can keep the arm and it’s never going to work or we have to amputate.’
Roberts’ parents opted for the former and set about providing their son with all the love and support he needed in his formative years. Unfortunately the fantastic support Roberts received at home was in stark contrast to the ridicule he was subjected to at school.
“Personally I got bullied a lot but I never let it affect my schoolwork and my parents really kept me up after school.”
“I never really had friends, never really fitted in that well but hey I made my own path.”
Roberts rose above the negativity and excelled both academically and on the cricket field. He featured in the school’s merit evening throughout his school career and became a fixture in the First XI cricket team from Grade 8 right up until matric.
As sometimes happens with sportspeople, Roberts’ primary sporting pursuit took a backseat to golf. Among the many appealing aspects of the game, it was the individuality and the ethos which drew Roberts to golf.
“I had friends who played golf. They lived across the road from me and their parents always played golf. There was a huge park in front of my house so after school I went and practiced with my wedge in the park.”
“I started playing golf when I was 13 and I actually skipped a few cricket camps that we had [so that I could] go and play golf. The golf bug bit because there was no chirping and no putting down,” remarks Roberts.
Largely self-taught to begin with, Curtley spent hours poring over the Instruction section of Golf Digest magazine and it was during this time that he first harboured thoughts of one day becoming a PGA professional.