Freshman Greenberry's feeling chipper about scholarship move
TORQUAY golfer Harrison Greenberry said he made the right decision in taking up a golf scholarship in the United States, with his game only improving as a result.
Greenberry is seven months into his freshman year at the University of Kentucky, and said he has settled well into life across the pond.
Speaking to the Herald Express from the Lexington campus, the former British Boys' champion said his game has already improved since starting the scholarship, with daily practice in top-of-the-range facilities.
But he said he was not yet feeling any pressure to perform on the intercollegiate circuit, with scholarship students only expected to excel in their final two years.
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He said: "I'm really glad I came to Kentucky – the golf has definitely got better, but it's a work in progress.
"I still haven't really taken off to where I want to be yet, but I've got four years here so I'm not worrying about it, I'm just gradually improving.
"My short game feels like it's the best it's ever been – whenever I get a chip I feel like I'm going to chip it in.
"The thing I need to work on is my driving, as I'm still spraying my drives a bit – they're just a bit inconsistent."
Greenberry has played on four events on the collegiate circuit so far, travelling from Alabama to Mexico to represent the university.
His best result was back in October, where he finished tied for ninth spot at the Bearcat Invitational at Traditions Golf Club in Greater Cincinnati.
A three-round total of 217, one-over-par, saw Greenberry post an early top-10 finish on the circuit.
He is among a group of eight students fighting for five spots on the college team, with 'qualifying' events regularly taking place to determine who is selected.
A further three golf scholarship students at the college are 'red shirted', meaning they can enrol but not play competitively on the collegiate circuit, as students can only play for a maximum of four years.
Greenberry said the early top-10 finish was welcomed but not unusual, and that gradual improvement was key.
"Because I'm here for four years they've put me here as someone they're trying to build up," he said.
"The expectations are really in the final two years.
"They've got me here so I can do well in the final two years, so anything I can do before them is a big bonus for them really.
"Any top 10 is good and our coach is really proud."
He added: "The standard is good – everyone in the five-man team is good and you can't play badly in these competitions and expect to win.
"But quite a few of the players go on to become professionals, so you're playing against the top standard, which is good for your own game."
Greenberry also said playing regularly was giving him valuable experience.
He continued: "I'm getting to go to a lot of different course and play on different grass and get used to different grains – it's all the little things which really help you to learn.
"The facilities we get to practice on are really good and I'm able to go every day if I want to."
Next month will be the busiest so far for Greenberry, with four events scheduled.
"We've got quite a few competitions left – through March, every single weekend we will be away because it's so busy," he said.
"But I love playing so I'm looking forward to it."
The former Exeter College student also said that there was a lot of support for all sports across the campus, and said: "They do give you lots of motivation – if you're doing well then they will keep you up. It's over the top, but in a good way.
"Recently I went to a basketball game at the college and there were 2,500 people there – and it wasn't even a championship game, it was just for a regional event. They do everything really well and they are so supportive.
"I'm not really enjoying the academic stuff much, so it's just getting that done, but I've settled into the lifestyle really well and I'm really enjoying it."