Amateur Champion Scott Gregory’s official invite from the chairman of the Augusta National Committee to compete in the 2017 Masters was sat at his Hampshire home for the best part of a month before he could finally get to hold it.

Now it does not stray far from his grasp as he the clock begins to countdown to the day he takes his first steps along the hallowed Magnolia Drive, and hits his first practice shot at Bobby Jones’ fabled Augusta course in Georgia, in early April, writes ANDREW GRIFFIN.

Scott was competing some 17,000 miles away at Royal Melbourne when the postman dropped the envelope containing the precious invite on the doormat in early January, signalling he would finally be able to become the first amateur golfer from Hampshire to compete for a Green Jacket in the Masters’ 83-year history.

The World No. 7 ranked amateur came home with another major international honour to his name after bagging the New South Wales Amateur. Championship - beating his England team-mate Marco Penge, from Golf Goodwood, by the narrowest of margins in the 36-hole final, earlier this month.

Scott said: “This invite is one that I've dreamed about for many many years and it's a dream come true to finally have one arrive.

“I was told it could arrive at any time in the couple of weeks before Christmas so it was a shame I was not at home when it finally arrived.

“I got told on the morning of the first round of the Australian Masters of the Amateur at Royal Melbourne.

“You cannot ask for a better start to the day waking up to something like that. I can't wait to make the most of this opportunity in April.”

The 22-year-old may have only played one competitive event between October and early January, but the honours have kept rolling in.

At then end of 2016 he picked up Hampshire’s prestigious John Nettell Trophy for the second time for his outstanding contribution to amateur golf in the county after becoming its first player to land the British Amateur in its 132-year history.

And on the morning he teed it up in the NSW final, his dad was picking up the Havant Borough Senior Sportsman of the Year on his behalf after pipping Hampshire team-mate Bill McKenzie, from Rowlands Castle, who won the Tillman Trophy last summer, following another stellar season on the American college golf circuit, playing for William Woods University, based in Missouri.

The Corhampton Golf Club ace said: “I have had a great year on the course and it is an honour to have that recognised by the Hampshire Golf Union and by the Havant Borough Sports Association.”

Scott was runner-up in the latter two years ago to Hayling’s Darren Walkley after reaching the final of the English Amateur in 2014 to stun many in the amateur golf world. It took some time for his season to fire in 2015 with a top four finish in the European Amateur.

But his stellar achievements in 2016 that saw him crowned the Great Britain and Ireland No. 1, make his English and GB&I international debuts and win a silver medal at the World Amateur Team Championships after England finished second in the Eisenhower Trophy, left the judges with an easy decision – although the overall Sportsperson of the Year award went to Havant and Waterlooville’s community football coach Shaun Gale.

Scott said: “I was a bit surprised not to win the overall award given the season I had last year, but that's sometimes the thing with these awards.

“It is a bit like when Rory McIlroy missed out to Lewis Hamilton in the BBC Sports Personality after winning two majors and the money list in 2014.

“They're great awards, but I think the titles you win on the course show more about the player you are.”

Scott’s award means he has been automatically nominated in the men’s category in the 2017 Energise Me Hampshire Sports Awards. The winners will be announced at Southampton FC’s St Mary’s Stadium, on March 30.