While Jon Rahm dominated the main event in Spain, former Amateur champion Scott Gregory's week ended before it had begun
Back at the Open Championship at Lytham in 2012 the saddest story took place even before a competitive ball had been struck. Robert Karlsson had played a couple of holes in his Wednesday practice round with Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald before calling it a day, and a week, as he couldn’t put club to ball.
He and Garcia, who himself had his share of the yips, or whatever you want to call it with the constant gripping and re-gripping issue, shared a hug and Karlsson pulled out of the biggest week of his year. Thankfully he found a way, after a lot of soul searching, to get through the problem.
This week in Spain Scott Gregory did likewise during the first round in Madrid. The 2016 Amateur champion, he beat Bob MacIntyre in the final at Royal Porthcawl, has endured an horrific season having come through Q School at the end of last year with just one made cut in 17 starts. His Challenge Tour efforts haven’t realised much better.
When we see ‘DISQ’ next to a player’s name it always catches the eye, sadly for Gregory it wasn’t a wrong scorecard, as he explained via Twitter.
“I haven’t been DQ’d for anything sinister, it was more a withdrawal. Those closest to me know I’ve been battling some mental demons both off the tee and personally for a while now and today everything kind of fell apart. I ended up struggling to pull the trigger and seeing a shot off the tee, resulting in some quite large misses,” the 25-year-old said.
“Because of this my only option was to walk away, it’s not fair on my playing partners with the speed I was playing due to the issue. I’m never one to quit and this is the first and last time in my career it will happen. I want to thank you for all your support and I hope to come back stronger once I’ve got the help I need.”
Absolutely hate people mocking players who are struggling. You’ve no idea how hard golf is at that level and you only need to be marginally out to blow out. They are trying their guts out in the full glare of this spotlight. Credit to the man in the arena not the sideline critic pic.twitter.com/dHcHN1BqCd
— Jonathan Yarwood (@JonathanYarwood) October 5, 2019
The game is littered with players who have struggled to pull the trigger but not many have explained things quite so openly and bravely. The perfectly acceptable way of going about things is to just slip away.
Having been at Lumine for last year’s Q School Gregory’s story was one of the more uplifting of the week. He was the player who shot 92 in the opening round of the US Open earlier that year, then had to take the predictable load of rubbish on Twitter before coming back the next day to get it round in 75.
He was also the player who ‘Jigger’ Thomson described to me as putting as well as anyone he’d ever seen after a third-round 62 in Spain. He works his tail off, was always on the physio bus doing strengthening work and he’s, to state the bleeding obvious, got a bucket load of talent.
His explanation of his time in Spain is as classy as he, from a distance, appears to be and we should all look forward to him getting back on the right path sooner rather than later.