The 52-year-old followed in the footsteps of Kenny Hutton (Downfield) and Fraser Mann (Carnoustie Links) as he captured the Bernard Hunt Trophy and a cheque for £6,000 at Foxhills, which he hailed as ‘the biggest win of his career’.
Starting the day with a two-shot advantage over South Winchester’s Richard Adams, Arnott’s lead was never troubled as the breezy conditions and testing nature of the Bernard Hunt course in Surrey enabled him to protect his lead.
Having previously chalked up two sub-par rounds in a rain-affected championship, Arnott’s final round of three-over-par 76 was still sufficient for him to ‘fall over the line’ after a double bogey at the last saw him finish the week on one-under-par 217.
His round was a mixed affair with four bogeys and three birdies also on his card.
But it was sufficient to claim a two-shot victory over defending champion Mann, one of only two players to break par on the final day.
Arnott, who hadn’t made the cut on his previous two appearances at Foxhills, said: “This has to be the best thing I’ve won.
“This is a national event and I’ve never won a national event so this has got be up there as number one.
“It feels fantastic. I made it quite hard towards the end. I had a four shot lead coming down the last. I thought I’d just plod my way up and was a wee bit careless as I missed from six inches.
“But I am delighted as I worked hard all day.
“Conditions certainly helped me. I had a couple of shots lead at the start of the day and only two guys are under par so no-one was going to go five or six under in these conditions.”
Despite his defeat, defending champion Mann was quick to praise Arnott.
He said: “It is fantastic for Robert as he’s not been playing much for the past two years.
“He had his players’ category on the senior tour and hardly played any events and so this is fantastic. If anyone else was going to win it other than me then he’d be number one on the list.”