Gregory falls short of securing Open spot

Corhampton's Scott Gregory drives off at the 18th on the Old Course at Walton Heath during the round of the European Amateur Championship. Picture: Andrew Griffin
Corhampton's Scott Gregory drives off at the 18th on the Old Course at Walton Heath during the round of the European Amateur Championship. Picture: Andrew Griffin

Captain’s pride despite end of Hampshire County Championship reign

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Scott Gregory fell one shot shy of a play-off place to earn a spot at next month’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Last year’s British amateur champion finished level par from his two rounds at Royal Cinque Ports on Tuesday.

Four players were tied on one-under par, including fellow Walker Cup hopeful David Boote.

Gregory carded four birdies and four bogeys in his first round.

The Corhampton ace finished strongly with birdies at the 17th and 18th.

Starting on the back nine in his second round, Gregory began perfectly with a birdie at the 10th.

However, he gave a shot back three holes later before dropping two further shots at the second and fourth.

With five to play, Gregory’s aspirations to qualify for the Open for a second successive year looked dead and buried.

A late rally from the 22-year-old saw him card back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth to give himself a chance.

However, three pars in his final three holes meant Gregory just fell short.

Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter grabbed one of the three spots to qualify for Birkdale at the Kent course.

Harry Ellis will make his make his Major debut next month on the back of his triumph in the British Amateur Championship at Royal St George.

Last year, Gregory briefly led at Royal Troon in his Open bow after surging to four-under part after 10 holes.

However, a torrid back nine saw him shoot 78 and a second-round 73 left him five shots short of the cut.

Meanwhile, Gregory finished T32 in the European Amateur Championship at Walton Heath last Saturday.

The former South Downs College student and Ellis have been selected named in England’s six-man side for the European Amateur Team Championship at Austria’s Diamond Country Club, which begins on Tuesday, July 11.

England bid to win the competition for the first time since 2013.

Subsequently, the duo will be absent for Hampshire’s bid to win the South East Qualifier.

Martin Young’s six-man team travel to Sheringham tomorrow.

– ANDREW GRIFFIN