Former England international Darren Wright announced his return to the amateur ranks with a display of the class that made him a member of the exclusive club of golfers who have completed the English Strokeplay double.
Wright, who regained his amateur status last season, has only played a few times during the winter – and had not even played a monthly medal at Rowlands Castle before taking on the country’s best at the weekend, writes Andrew Griffin.
But the runner up on the 2015 EuroPro Tour Order of Merit teed it up in the Selborne Salver and Hampshire Hog over the weekend and came away with a fast finishing fourth place at North Hants after a 72 opening round and a 64 for a two-under-par total.
Eventual winner Matty Lamb broke the course record with a fine 63 as he finished on five under after a 70 in the first round.
Wright, 30, admitted he is still a bit rusty after quitting professional golf two years ago.
He said: ‘I didn’t play particularly well in the morning round at either Blackmoor or North Hants. But that gave me a lot more freedom in the afternoon rounds to go out and play without any real pressure or expectation.
‘I made three birdies in the first three holes in the second round on Sunday, and all of a sudden I was off and running, which felt really good again.
‘It doesn’t matter if you are trying to win something like the Brabazon, or when you need to win a decent amount of money on the EuroPro or Challenge Tours when you are trying to make golf your living.
‘The best golf comes when you stop trying to force it so much and just let the good shots and putts come out naturally.
‘That was the first time I have held a scorecard and a pencil in my hand since I got my amateur status back.
‘Overall I have to be pleased, and I should get my handicap cut which will help.’
Wright finished 15th in the Selborne Salver at Blackmoor 24 hours earlier with rounds of 71 and 68 to finish one-over par.