THE Walker Cup was supposed to be the pinnacle of his amateur career before turning pro and he got to represent Great Britain and Ireland with two of his biggest friends from his junior golf days with Hampshire Boys.
But after watching Stewart Hagestad sink the winning putt for the United States in Sunday’s singles, Scott Gregory was left with the consolation of picking up two-and-a-half points out of the seven GB&I salvaged from 26 matches over the weekend.
Gregory was a match for anyone on the greens all weekend, with a superb putting display – combined with some killer approach shots.
With things looking bleak in the final session Gregory refused to be beaten by America’s Norman Xiong.
That set up Hagestad to beat Jack Singh-Brar on the 17th and claim the trophy after the 21-year-old, who made his European Tour debut as the Faldo Series Champion in 2012, lost the hole after hitting the sand with his wedge after a bungled bunker shot when one down.
Gregory, playing a hole behind and unaware of events unfolding ahead, curled home his 30-footer for a birdie three on the 17th to extend the match after Xiong missed from 18 feet.
Xiong left a 24-footer for bogey shy on the last, giving Gregory two putts from nine feet for an unlikely half.
Last year’s amateur champion closed out in style by making his par with a putt straight in the middle.
Gregory was focused on trying not to lose and he was unbeaten on Sunday and only lost one of his two singles.
He said: ‘I’m so competitive that even if the team lost, I would still want to try and do my best.
‘I think on a personal note I played really well.’
In the Sunday foursomes, Gregory holed an outrageous bunker shot on the par five 14th to go two-up against NCAA college champion Braden Thornberry and US Amateur champion Doc Redman, who is the brother of Pompey board member Andy Redman.
Gregory and Singh-Brar got to the turn with a two-hole lead.
The hosts’ pair then birdied the 10th and it took a putt from 18 feet by Gregory at the 11th to keep their noses in front until that birdie from the bunker.
A bogey at the 16th for the English pairing – who first played foursomes together in the match against Spain in the spring – meant a nervy finish until Gregory’s approach set up a birdie putt for Singh-Brar on the last to win the match by two holes.
Singh-Brar and Gregory had played as well as anyone 24 hours earlier, beating big-hitting Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Champ 3&2.
European Amateur Champion Alfie Plant and British Amateur Champion Harry Ellis had lost heavily.
Gregory was sent out last in Saturday’s singles and was two up after 10.
But he was eventually beaten 3&1 as the Americans led by six on day one.