Gregory and co unable to shine

Scott Gregory. Picture: Andrew Griffin
Scott Gregory. Picture: Andrew Griffin
Scott Gregory

Gregory and Ellis key men for Walker Cup mission

  • Home talents miss out in Selborne Salver and Hampshire Hog
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Scott Gregory has shrugged off a frustrating weekend with the putter as the top Hampshire players were well beaten in their own backyard.

Lincolnshire’s Simon Richardson took the Selborne Salver with rounds of 69 and 68 at Blackmoor earning him a three-shot victory as the only man under par in a field of 72.

It’s frustrating not to finish higher but it’s more of a build-up going into Lytham Trophy at the start of May

Scott Gregory

The following day, his county team-mate Sam Whitaker then fired rounds of 71 and 67 to claim the Hampshire Hog with a one-shot win over his nearest rival.

Rowlands Castle’s former Hampshire Amateur champion Tom Robson was the only homegrown talent to show over the course of the weekend.

He finished ninth at Blackmoor – seven shots behind the Salver winner.

It was a disappointing weekend for the county’s leading players who had gone into the events looking to get among the top prizes.

And although Gregory finished outside the top 20 in both events, he was not too downhearted.

Rounds of 71 and 75 left the Waterlooville-based England A squad member at eight over par at Blackmoor – nine adrift of the winner.

Scores of 70 and 76 then ended his hopes of sustaining the challenge from last year when he looked set for victory, only for the weather to see the second round abandoned.

Gregory said: ‘Of course, I was going into it with higher hopes but it didn’t quite work out that way.

‘But I actually played better than my scores would suggest.

‘I played solidly at Blackmoor and hit it well in the morning round but made a couple of silly mistakes.

‘Then in the second round, the putter wasn’t going very well, which cost me.

‘At the Hog, I flushed it all day but didn’t make anything on the greens.

‘I got to three under in the morning through 12 holes but shot level par after I missed a couple of short putts.

‘But in the afternoon, it wasn’t that I was putting that badly – they were more misreads than anything.

‘I think I was just over-reading my putts a bit.

‘It tends to happen more in the early season when you go from slow greens to quick greens and you think things will break a bit more than they do.

‘It’s frustrating not to finish higher but it’s more of a build-up going into the Lytham Trophy at the start of next month.

‘Different parts of my game are getting better.

‘My pitching was a lot better and I have been working on that.

‘If I can get the putter going, I should be good to go.’

Conditions were a real struggle with strong winds and also the fact it was coming from a different direction causing some problems.

Gregory said: ‘It was good to be out in a competitive environment again.

‘I hit it a lot better than I did at the Spanish Amateur.

‘But it’s quite tough to play four rounds in two days.

‘And the two courses were set up as tough as I will play this year with some strong winds.

‘Blackmoor was probably a little bit tougher. North Hants were a bit more sensible with the pins and took the wind into consideration.

‘But both courses were in perfect condition.

‘The wind was also in the opposite direction to how it normally is and it made a big difference.’