Harry Ellis: I need to execute Open plan better

Harry Ellis in action at the Open
Harry Ellis in action at the Open
Harry Ellis in action during in his second round at The Open

Ellis feels at home despite missing Open cut

Harry Ellis tees off at the second during day one of The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club.  Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Ellis struggles on Open debut

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HARRY ELLIS put a brave face on a disappointing debut at the Open but will keep the faith in his master plan for the week.

The amateur champion faces a second round in even more testing weather on Friday afternoon after his opening 77.

But he refuses to be down despite carding eight bogeys and just one solitary birdie on day one of the competition.

There was not too much wrong with the 21-year-old’s performance in his first major of his fledgling career.

But every slight mistake proved to be costly, and having reached the turn in three-over par, his attempts to cash in on the more scoreable back nine, outlined that Birkdale is not an easy course to play catch-up on.

He said: ‘I have just got to stick to the same plan but execute it better.

‘And if I execute the strategy better, hit golf shots like full 100-per-cent committed golf shots, then we’ll be right there. I know I can produce a score.’

Ellis came from four down with five to play to win the amateur crown to earn his passport to the Open.

He was targeting the Silver Medal as the leading amateur and emulate Justin Rose, who finished tied for fourth in 1998.

A defiant Ellis, who plays for Florida State University, the same US college where Brooks Koepka, one of the early leaders on five-under graduated from, added: ‘You’re never out of it. You saw what happened at the British Amateur.

‘If I can produce a really good second round hopefully some struggle and we’ll see where we’re at.

‘The week so far has been fantastic, and I’ve loved every minute. There’s nothing you can do to recreate the feeling on the first tee.

‘I was obviously nervous, but more excited to get the round going and hit a really good one off the first. Which was nice.

‘I felt good going in. It was just one of those things – just a couple of loose shots here and there – but the experience was fantastic.’

After his second shot on the par three fourth went from the right rough to the front greenside trap, which only cost him a bogey four thanks to a great sand shot to get up and down, Ellis gave away another shot on the sixth.

He then dropped three shots in three holes from the ninth.

Another shot went on the 13th courtesy of a three-putt.

His birdie on the par five 15th brought cheers from the 30-strong contingent of supporters who travelled up from his club Meon Valley, including his family.

But he drove into the right fairway trap on the 17th before taking six.

Then a bogey on the last when he took three to get down from left of the green saw him facing battle to make the cut with the top 70 players and ties going into the weekend.