Scott Gregory will walk away from Royal Troon feeling proud of himself despite missing the halfway cut in the 145th Open in Scotland.
The 21-year-old Portsmouth-born player battled to a second-round 73 – five shots better than his opening effort on Thursday – in testing conditions on the Ayrshire coast.
In the company of 1985 champion Sandy Lyle – David Duval, another former winner, had withdrawn overnight – he made three birdies in a row from the fourth in a front-nine burst before following a dropped shot at the 13th with a triple-bogey seven at the 15th.
‘I didn’t do a lot wrong out there yesterday,’ said the Corhampton player, who earned his spot in the 156-man field by winning the Amateur Championship in Wales last month.
‘I missed two fairways, losing a ball on one occasion and not being able to get to the green with my second the other time.
‘Apart from those two holes, I gave myself a chance at every hole from the fourth onwards and that’s what I set out to do.
‘I’ve given 100 per cent over the two days and the highlight was undoubtedly leading The Open after 10 holes in the first round.’
Next up for Gregory is representing Great Britain & Ireland in the St Andrews Trophy in Kent before he turns his attention to the English Amateur and US Amateur Championships.
He has still to decide what comes after that and a switch to the paid ranks is a certainly somewhere down the line.
But that will not come before another of the rewards he’s earned as the Amateur champion.
‘I will definitely play in The Masters,’ declared Gregory of his date at Augusta National next April.