Scott Gregory is looking to finish the job he started a year ago as he goes for the coveted Hampshire Hog title on Sunday.
The 20-year-old, from Corhampton, returns to North Hants Golf Club 12 months after the heavens opened and rained on his parade when he was just a few holes from claiming his second national strokeplay title.
It would be great to go back to North Hants and finish off the job I startedScott Gregory
The tournament had to be abandoned – when Gregory had hit the front with six holes to play having produced some superb golf to get to four-under par – and the result declared over the morning 18 holes.
Now, 12 months on, he proudly wears the cross of St George on his England shirts and golf bag, that the likes of Justin Rose, Matt Blackey and Steve Richardson have worn.
Few people outside of Hampshire had heard of the slightly-built 20-year-old, from Waterlooville, before he lost a brave battle on the 17th in the 36-hole English Amateur final last summer.
But Gregory has his sights set on settling one of last year’s few major disappointments, having already made it through to Final Qualifying for The Open two years running.
He said: ‘Obviously, it was disappointing not to win at the time.
‘But I look back at last year and think this was the event that proved I could compete with the very best.
‘All the hard work in getting a swing I could rely on under pressure and making the most of my short game was the right way to go.
‘Saunton was obviously an even better experience, playing so well on a course that wouldn’t have really suited me on paper.
‘Now it would be great to go back to North Hants and finish off the job I started.
‘Anyone who has been through the same Hampshire junior golf programme that produced Justin Rose would love to pick up the trophy he won as a 14-year-old on his home course.’
It’s been a busy schedule for the Corhampton talent and he has put in some intensive work on his short game.
He said: ‘I have spent the winter working with the England coaches and my personal coach Simon Francis at the Portsmouth Golf Centre.
‘Graham Walker, the England coach has got me to go to four wedges and I have changed my angle into the ball and have more options now with my short game.
‘The work I have done with Simon over the last couple of years has helped me take the left side of the golf course out of the equation.
‘I had a couple of weeks in Spain preparing and playing in the Spanish Amateur – now I cannot wait to get cracking at home.’
Rose lifted the title in 1995 as a fresh-faced teenager and Gregory will be looking to follow in his illustrious footsteps at the revamped course.
Two new tees have been added on the seventh and 16th holes, adding an extra 70 yards or so to the existing 6,475 yards from the medal tees.
The par-70 course also has new bunkers on the 11th and 12th, including one in the middle of the fairway on the latter.
Gregory said: ‘It was good to get an extra practice round in and have a look at the greens.
‘The winter has been either too wet, too dry and recently when there has been some rain, it has not been warm enough to really get the grass growing.
‘Hopefully, this week’s forecast for warm weather should help the greenkeepers to get the course just right for Sunday.’