Scott Gregory is ready to rise to the occasion as he prepares to make his international debut.
The Waterlooville-based talent will go head to head with some of the very best amateur players in Europe at this week’s Costa Ballena Quadrangular as he represents England for the first time.
The competition, whish starts today and finishes on Friday, is played on a round-robin basis over three days between men’s teams from Finland, Germany and hosts Spain.
Each match will comprise three foursomes and six singles encounters, as England attempt to defend the crown after victory in last year’s tournament – their first success since 2006.
The Corhampton golfer joins up with Jamie Bower (Meltham, Yorkshire), Jamie Dick (Forest Hills, Gloucestershire), Bobby Keeble (Crowlands Heath, Essex), Sean Towndrow (Southport & Ainsdale, Lancashire) and Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park, Lincolnshire).
And despite some torrential rain in the Cadiz area over the past few days, Gregory is keen to grasp his opportunity.
‘I’m really looking forward to it,’ said Gregory.
‘I hope to score maximum points this week and show the England selectors that I can perform against the best teams.
‘I’ve been out here since Sunday afternoon.
‘But the course was closed because of flooding on one day and it was raining too much to do any sort of practice.
‘We got out there on Monday, even though only 12 holes were open, and I played very well.
‘And the course is just awesome – even after the weather we’ve had.
‘But I’m hitting it very well and accurate and putting it nicely, so I’m feeling positive about the week.
‘The other teams are likely to be longer than us but we have to just play to our own strengths and do what we came here to do – and that’s win!’
The course, which was designed by Spanish golfing legend Jose Maria Olazabal, is a serious test.
It was built in 1995 and opened in 1997 but has already established itself as one of the top golfing venues in Spain, having hosted the second stage European Tour Qualifying School.
It will represent a stern challenge, even for a player like Gregory, whose handicap plummeted to plus four last year.
But the 20-year-old believes it suits his game and is playing with confidence at the moment.
‘It’s a course that requires long, accurate drives and precision iron shots,’ added Gregory.
‘Accuracy is my strength, so I’m feeling good about it.
‘I just have to play my own game and focus on doing the things I do well.
‘I won’t change anything. It’s just about trying to do the things that I know I can do.’
Away from the luxurious setting at Costa Ballena, Gregory has also been putting in the hours at Portsmouth Golf Centre under the guidance of coach Simon Andrews – and he is gearing up for the start of the new campaign.
He said: ‘This week will be a big test but I will also get to see where my game is at at the moment.
‘It gives me the chance to assess what I need to work on before the Spanish Amateur next month.
‘But the team spirit is high and everyone is ready to go get some points on the board.’