Scott Gregory came out on top in the Final of The 121st Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl. The 21-year-old from Corhampton in Hampshire held off a strong challenge from Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre to seal a 2&1 victory in the 36-hole match.
The England A international secured a place in The 145th Open at Royal Troon, next year’s US Open at Erin Hills and, by tradition, an invitation to the Masters Tournament in 2017.
Gregory got off to a strong start and led for most of the morning round, moving to 3 up by the 12th hole. McIntyre, the 2015 Scottish Amateur Champion, showed his resolve to win the 15th with an excellent chip from thick rough left of the green to 5ft and then holed a 30ft putt on the 16th to reduce the deficit to one hole.
The evenly matched pair traded holes over the next six holes with the left-handed MacIntyre losing the 22nd after finding a greenside bunker. Gregory showed his mastery of bunker play with a fine escape from 60 yards short of the green at the next and holed from 8ft to move back in front.
MacIntyre birdied the 24th to move back to all square and Gregory replied with a birdie at the 118-yard par three 25th when his tee shot finished a foot from the hole to edge in front. The Scot fought back once again, holing a 6ft par putt to win the 27th, but Gregory, who was runner-up in this year’s Spanish Amateur Championship, enjoyed some good fortune on the 28th when he overhit his chip from the side of the green and it struck the flag and dropped to a foot from the hole to earn him a half.
Gregory holed an 8ft putt from the back of the 30th to claim the hole and when MacIntyre found a greenside bunker at the 31st the Englishman was two up with five to play. When the 35th was halved in four, Gregory completed the most important victory of his young career.
“Obviously it’s a dream come true, you dream about moments like this when you are practising all those hours and when you’re not playing as well as you’d like to. It’s (playing in The Open) going to be completely new to me so hopefully I can get some decent practice rounds in with some people and see where I go from there,” said Gregory.