Record-breaking Roope hits Hampshire heights

Colin Roope   Picture: Innes Marlow
Colin Roope Picture: Innes Marlow
Scott Gregory. Picture: PA Images

Gregory starting to earmark his schedule for next season

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Finding complete records for amateur golf – even at county level – is hard enough but Colin Roope has created a new one in his first season playing in Hampshire.

And despite his rather laid-back manner, there is a chance he could help the county end a long search for silverware and possibly create another record in the process at some point in 2017.

Roope, who was the Surrey Amateur Champion in 2006, became just the second player to see his name engraved on the Hampshire Order of Merit Trophy at the end of last season after Hayling’s Darren Walkley won it in 2014 and 2015.

He also became the first-ever player to win an Order of Merit title in Surrey and Hampshire.

The 36-year-old former EuroPro Tour player moved to Horndean at the start of 2016 and switched his membership from Farnham GC to Blackmoor last spring.

Roope said after receiving his trophies at the county golf union’s AGM: ‘It was fantastic to have such a good first year playing golf in Hampshire.

‘Of course, the standard of golf in the county right now – with the likes of Scott Gregory winning the Amateur Championship – is as high as any in the country.

‘I never set any big targets last year other than to enjoy my golf again having not played as much after my spell as a pro, and also having got married with a young family I have been concentrating on my career after pro golf.

‘I am not the best player in Hampshire – far from it. There are some incredibly talented individuals who are miles ahead of me.

‘But on my day I can compete and be there or thereabouts.

‘Ironically, after such a good start last year, I actually started to play worse because I just could not afford the time to practice enough.’

Looking forward to the new season, Roope would be happy to put the experience of playing in two English county finals to good use by representing Hampshire during 2017.

He added: ‘I am not going to set any great targets this year again.

‘But if Hampshire are in with a shout of success, I am sure it will spur us all on to play our best and give the county captain a gentle nudge!’

– ANDREW GRIFFIN