England’s Scott Gregory has taken a successful step on his way to The Masters with victory in the annual clash of the British and US amateur champions.
Gregory, from Corhampton Golf Club in Hampshire, had to wait until the 17th to get his nose in front in the match and was then pulled back to all square on the 18th. But when he got his chance on the next he grabbed it.
The match was part of Gregory’s carefully planned warm-up for The Masters, where he’s earned his place alongside the giants of the game by virtue of his Amateur Championship win at Royal Porthcawl last June.
His invitation arrived when he was representing England Golf on a winter tour of Australia and he says: “My girlfriend opened it for me on Facetime! Now I’ve got it up on the wall in a display frame and it looks quality.”
Since he returned from Australia in early February, with a win in the New South Wales Amateur, he’s been preparing for his Augusta adventure. He’s already been in the States for almost two weeks and now he’s at Augusta National for three days of practice before the arrival of his coach, Simon Andrews from the Portsmouth Golf Centre.
Andrews will be at his side throughout the championship and Gregory is also importing a solid band of supporters of family and friends. He’ll also be drawing on the advice of a fellow Hampshire man, England Golf Ambassador and Olympic champion Justin Rose.
“He has been very helpful to me recently with little words of encouragement,” said Gregory. They played a practice round at last summer’s Open championship and now Gregory is hoping they’ll be grouped together in the par three competition which precedes the championship.
He’s also hoping to snatch a few practice holes with Masters’ legend Fred Couples, among others. “It will be exciting to see what it’s like,” he said. “It’s something I’ve watched on TV for years and it’s going to be cool to be there.”
Caption: Scott Gregory with the Amateur Championship trophy at Royal Porthcawl (image copyright The R&A.)