Hampshire’s Scott Gregory won the annual clash of the British and US amateur champions after beating Australia’s Curtis Luck on the first play-off hole at the Golf Club of Georgia.
The 20 year old from Corhampton Golf Club had to wait until the 17th to get his nose in front in the match, and was then pulled back to all-square on the 18th. But when he got his chance on the next he grabbed it.
The match was part of Gregory’s carefully planned warm-up for the Masters, where he’s earned his place alongside the giants of the game by virtue of his Amateur Championship win at Royal Porthcawl last June.
Gregory travelled to the States in mid-March, and now he’s at Augusta National for three days of practice before the arrival of his coach, Simon Andrews from the Portsmouth Golf Centre. Then, the plan is for a weekend off before Masters’ week begins.
Andrews will be at his side throughout the championship, and Gregory is also importing a band of supporters of family and friends. He’ll also be drawing on the advice of a fellow Hampshire man and Olympic champion Justin Rose. “He has been very helpful to me recently with little words of encouragement,” said Gregory.
The pair played a practice round at last summer’s Open championship and now Gregory is hoping they’ll be grouped together in the par-three competition which precedes the championship. He’s also hoping to snatch a few practice holes with Masters’ legend Fred Couples, among others. “It will be exciting to see what it’s like,” he said. “It’s something I’ve watched on TV for years, and it’s going to be cool to be there.”
Gregory’s first goal is to make the cut and then aim to be low amateur. “I think that’s something I can do, and once you make the cut the doors are open,” he said.