Gregory proud of progress on main stage

England's Scott Gregory tees off on the fourth hole during day one of The Open Championship 2016 at Royal Troon Golf Club, South Ayrshire.
England's Scott Gregory tees off on the fourth hole during day one of The Open Championship 2016 at Royal Troon Golf Club, South Ayrshire.
Scott Gregory. Picture: Andrew Griffin

Gregory misses out

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Scott Gregory believes he has improved leaps and bounds in the past 12 months despite missing the cut in four professional tournaments.

The Corhampton ace landed the British Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl last year.

Subsequently, it meant he qualified for the Open at Royal Troon last July, the Masters at Augusta in April and the US Open at Erin Hills last week.

Gregory was also cherry picked by legend Jack Nicklaus to compete in the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

The 22-year-old failed to make the cut in all four competitions.

However, Gregory is taking the positives from playing the best golfers in the world.

He said: ‘I have learned from all of these experiences that my win in the British Amateur Championship gave me and feel I am an incredibly better player now than this time last year.

‘I have experiences that a lot of my peers don’t and have inside knowledge from the tour that I have used to better my game and approach.

‘Unfortunately, I have been unable to make the mark I wanted in these tournaments which is a massive disappointment.

‘But I have shown I am close to being able to mix it with the very best.’

In all three professional tournaments in 2017, Gregory ultimately paid the price for slow starts.

At Erin Hills, he carded rounds of 75 and 73.

Through his first 10 holes, the former South Downs College student slumped to six-over par.

However, in his next 26 holes, he racked up a score of two-under par and finished ahead of past US Open winner Rory McIlroy.

Gregory insists he and coach Simon Andrews will iron out the creases to ensure he can start firing on all cylinders.

He added: ‘I was two-under through my last 26 holes.

‘A slow start to both first rounds has cost me.

‘That is something Simon and myself are going to be looking at.

‘On a positive note, my putting at these tournaments has been great.

‘I’ve gained strokes in almost every round I have played on tour.

‘The US Open was great for me.

‘I’ve shown I have fight in me by coming back from six-over to three-over in the first round.

‘My short game has also held up well, with my pitching improving massively since Augusta.

‘I am getting close to the standard I want to be at.

‘If I start off better in round one and shoot around par, I’m looking at not only making the cut but being close to the leaders – I just have to keep working as hard as I always do to get better.’