Wall builds his reputation

Corhampton's Scott Gregory, winner of the Stoneham Trophy, with Stoneham captain James Pinchon, and Hayling's Ben Wall winner of the Solent Salver after his victory in the Mike Smith Memorial Trophy at Brokenhurst Manor 24 hours earlier. Pictured on the putting green at Stoneham after their six-hole play-off for the Stoneham Trophy on Sunday, August 17, 2014. PPP-140819-163332001
Corhampton's Scott Gregory, winner of the Stoneham Trophy, with Stoneham captain James Pinchon, and Hayling's Ben Wall winner of the Solent Salver after his victory in the Mike Smith Memorial Trophy at Brokenhurst Manor 24 hours earlier. Pictured on the putting green at Stoneham after their six-hole play-off for the Stoneham Trophy on Sunday, August 17, 2014. PPP-140819-163332001
Scott Gregory. Picture: Andrew Griffin

Gregory misses out

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Ben Wall narrowly missed out on a clean sweep as he lifted the Solent Salver last weekend.

The Hayling amateur produced his brilliant best to clinch the Mike Smith Memorial Trophy at Brokenhurst Manor on Saturday with rounds of 68 and 64 – making 14 birdies in 36 holes.

He then followed that up in the Stoneham Trophy the following day with rounds of 72 and 67, although Corhampton’s Scott Gregory finished on the same score after rounds of 70 and 69.

While that sealed the Solent Salver for the plus-three handicapper with his 72-hole total good enough for a three-stroke win, he missed out on adding the Stoneham Trophy after Gregory pipped him in a play-off after six extra holes.

Wall said: ‘I wasn’t really expecting to win the Stoneham Trophy, so I was still happy that I won overall.

‘I didn’t expect to be in the play-off. I didn’t have the greatest first round and I’d put all my stuff away but then I was told I was in the play-off.

‘To win the Solent Salver was my main goal and two out of three is pretty good.

‘It’s my biggest win, definitely.

‘Playing 72 holes of competitive golf in two days is pretty intense. Your brain is frazzled after a while and I was pretty tired by the end of it.

‘I’ve had a good season. I’ve gone under the radar a bit but I’ve had three top-10s and three top-20s in national events so I’ve played well all season but it’s just nice to get the win.’

While the 20-year-old admitted his putting had not been at its best, it was his play from tee to green that set him up for a successful weekend.

And it has galvanised his plans to turn professional before the end of 2015.

‘It was my best ball-striking ever,’ said Wall.

‘I was just really consistent. I’ve been working hard over the summer and it paid off.

‘I think I am going to turn professional at the end of next year.

‘I will either do my teaching degree, go to qualfying school or play on the Europro Tour.

‘But I need to save up a bit of money and get my game as sharp as it can be.’