Gregory grateful for US Amateur experience

Scott Gregory  Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Scott Gregory Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Scott Gregory

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Corhampton’s Scott Gregory ran out of luck in his bid to become just the fifth player to win the British and US Amateur Championships in the same season since 1895.

Having made the top 64 in the 36-hole qualifier early last week, the Corhampton member made light work of his first-round opponent before coming up against Michigan-based Nick Carlson, who got the break at the first extra hole in their second-round match.

Any fears that the monster South Course at Oakland Hills, near Detroit, might prove a touch too long for the 21-year-old Hampshire ace were quickly dismissed by his first 25 holes on the longer of the two courses.

Gregory shot a brilliant two-under par 69 in his second round on the Tuesday, played after an overnight drenching made it play every inch of its 7,129 yards.

The Great Britain & Ireland international then floored first-round opponent Raymond Knoll by racing into a seven-hole lead by the 13th, courtesy of three birdies.

But Carlson, who eventually lost in the semi-final to Australia’s Curtis Luck, who won Sunday’s final 6&4, tested the ninth seed all the way.

Gregory, who was three down at the turn, said: ‘Nick was a class player and a local lad with plenty of support. I was four-under for 18 holes and was only all square.

‘I hit a long approach into the last fairly close just to make par which got me all-square after he made five.

‘But then Nick birdied the first play-off hole after I nearly holed my wedge from 105 yards.

‘It was an incredible experience to play that kind of course and to be able to score on it as well.’

No sooner had the world-ranked number six touched down back in the UK over the weekend, than he was off to play in his first European Challenge Tour event.

Gregory will play in the Bridgestone Challenge at Heythrop Park Resort which gets under way tomorrow.

Scott said: ‘My Challenge Tour debut means a lot.

‘It is another chance to test the waters at the next level and see how I have improved.

‘It is a learning experience and I want to learn as much as I can and become a better player again.’