Scott Gregory in high Spirit after England call

Scott Gregory    Picture: Andrew Griffin
Scott Gregory Picture: Andrew Griffin
Harry Ellis. Picture: PA Images

Ellis crashes out of US Amateur Championship

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Scott Gregory will follow in the footsteps of Jordan Spieth and Jason Day when he takes part in a stellar amateur tournament in USA next week.

The Waterlooville-based amateur has been selected to represent England in the Spirit International at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Texas.

Day (2005) and Spieth (2009) both played in the same competition and are currently ranked as the top two players in the world.

And they are just two in a glittering list to represent their countries since the biennial tournament started in 2001 with Martin Kaymer, Paula Creamer and Brandt Snedeker also among the former players.

Two male and two female golfers are selected for each of the 20 countries taking part with various team and individual titles up for grabs.

But it’s new territory for Gregory, who has never visited the States before.

He said: ‘I’ve never been to USA in my life so I am really looking forward to it.

‘I found out the day after I won the Courage Trophy.

‘I got a call to ask if I was available and the answer was quite simple!

‘I’ve been in the England A squad but I have only been playing averagely through the season.

‘I guess I wasn’t really in the frame to get picked.

‘But I played quite nicely towards the end of the season.

‘I got to the quarter-finals of the English Amateur and then I was fourth in the European Amateur.

‘I found a bit of form and I guess they were watching.

‘It’s really nice to get the call-up – it makes the hard work worthwhile and it feels like it has paid off.’

Gregory is joined in the England ranks by Hayley Davis (Ferndown, Dorset), Bronte Law of Bramhall, Cheshire) and Jonathan Thomson (Lindrick, Yorkshire) for the 54-hole championship.

And the 20-year-old is the latest Corhampton member to play in the same event after Neil Raymond played in 2011.

Gregory said: ‘I spoke to Neil about it. He played in the same tournament in 2011 and told me it was one of the best courses he has ever played.

‘I’m sure it will be a great experience.

‘I’m not too sure what to expect in terms of how different the golf will be.

‘I will go over and then work out how I should play the course.’

It’s also a useful confidence-booster for Gregory, who suffered a slow start to the campaign but came to the fore with a late-season surge.

And his plans are still on course to turn professional next year.

He said: ‘I’m really pleased with the way I ended the season.

‘I’m just trying to figure out a way I can start a bit quicker next year.

‘Having that England status, I put too much pressure on myself in those first few events, rather than easing my way into the season.

‘I need to focus on trusting everything I’m doing and not let other things get in the way.

‘At the moment, I am looking to go to Qualifying School next year to turn professional.

‘As long as I have got the funding, I will give it a go.

‘So I am saving up what I can and working hard on my game.’