Amateur Champion Scott Gregory and British women’s stroke play champion Sophie Lamb are England’s top golfers of 2016, having each won their Order of Merit.
Gregory, from Corhampton in Hampshire, is the runaway winner of the England Golf men’s title, while Lamb, from Clitheroe in Lancashire, came through a tightly-contested race to the top of the women’s table.
Gregory has enjoyed a spectacular year and his standout moment was winning the Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl. “It’s a moment in my career I will never forget,” he said.
“In terms of how it’s changed my life, it’s been huge. I’ve played in The Open and The British Masters, and will receive invites to the Masters and US Open because of it! Any golfer would dream of that and it’s made me work even harder than before to get better. I want to do well in these opportunities, the Amateur Championship is a great thing to win but it’s what you do after that counts and that’s what I’m working hard on.”
His other two highlights both involved team selections. Gregory made his GB&I debut in the winning St Andrews Trophy team and he helped England to win the world championship silver medal at the Eisenhower Trophy.
“I’m incredibly proud to be part of the team to get the first medal for England at that tournament, and hopefully the beginning of something great!”
Gregory is the second member from his club to win the Order of Merit and he laughed: “It also means Neil Raymond has one less thing to joke with me about. We are always having a joke about what we have/haven’t won!”
Next year his goals include following Raymond again, this time into the GB&I Walker Cup team. “I would love to finish my amateur career in that team,” he said.
Sophie Lamb puts her name on the Order of Merit alongside those of previous winners such as world number two amateur Bronte Law and Solheim Cup star Charley Hull.
“Looking at the names of the women who have won this gives me something to strive for, but also makes me feel proud to have my name next to theirs,” she said.
She cemented her place at the top of the table with victory in the British stroke play championship, which put her out of the reach of Cornwall’s Georgia Price.
Lamb, who was the only player to beat par in the tournament, remarked: “I had a lot of top 10 finishes but this was my first women’s individual win which made it very special.
“It was also one of my last events of 2016 so I was really pleased to be able to get a win in the season.”
She had challenged for a big win all season, having been leading qualifier in the English women’s match play championship, tied fourth in the English women’s amateur and sixth in the English stroke play. She also helped England to win the Women’s Home Internationals
Next season the 18-year-old is aiming to win another big event, play her way into the GB&I team for the Vagliano Trophy match against Continental Europe, and to improve her world ranking.
Leading final placings
1 Scott Gregory (Corhampton, Hampshire) 109627.071pts
2 Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park, Kent) 61113.399
3 Josh Hilleard (Farrington Park, Somerset) 57301.750
4 Jamie Bower (Meltham, Yorkshire) 56569.667
5 Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood, Sussex) 53010.888
1 Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe, Lancashire) 79961.250pts
2 Georgia Price (Bude & North Cornwall) 78666.633
3 Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest, Cheshire) 69688.250
4 Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer, Worcestershire) 50021.750
5 Bronte Law (Bramhall, Cheshire) 44717.688
Image copyright Leaderboard Photography