England's Scott Gregory wins Amateur Championship
Scott Gregory came out on top in a closely fought final of the 121st Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl.
The 21-year-old Corhampton player held off a strong challenge from Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre to seal a 2&1 victory in the 36-hole match.
The win secured the England international a place in the Open at Royal Troon next month, a spot in next year’s US Open at Erin Hills and an invitation to the Masters.
Gregory led for most of the morning round and was 3 up by the 12th hole.
But MacIntyre, the 2015 Scottish Amateur champion, showed his resolve to win the 15th with an excellent chip from thick rough left of the green to 5ft and then holed a 30ft putt on the 16th to reduce the deficit to one hole.
Gregory held that lead going into the afternoon but the momentum shifted to MacIntyre in the early stages and the Scot moved ahead for the first time in the match when he won the 20th and 21st holes with pars.
It was nip and tuck until the 30th, when Gregory holed an 8ft putt from the back of the green to claim the hole.
When MacIntyre found a greenside bunker at the 31st the Englishman was 2 up with five to play. He saw out the match on the penultimate hole.
Gregory said: “Obviously it’s a dream come true, you dream about moments like this when you are practising all those hours and when you’re not playing as well as you’d like to.
“It’s (playing in The Open) going to be completely new to me so hopefully I can get some decent practice rounds in with some people and see where I go from there.
“I think luck went my way a little bit, that definitely helped. I got a couple of lies where I shouldn’t have had lies but I made the most out of the opportunities that I had.
“I kept telling myself if I got chances, I’ve got to take them because that’s what people who win these championships do.
“They give themselves chances and when they get them, they take them. I knew that putt on 17 was the moment I needed to make it so it was nice to do it.”