West going in the right direction

Sam West
Sam West
Harry Ellis. Picture: PA Images

Ellis crashes out of US Amateur Championship

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The 12-year-old Southwick Park starlet went up against youngsters from four continents and 36 different countries at the Algarve tournament.

And the Petersfield golfer turned on the style to finish seventh in the gross competition and take fifth nett prize after rounds of 79, 77 and a superb final-round 74 on the par-72 O’Connor Jnr course at Amendoeira Golf Resort.

That saw the Churchers College student’s handicap tumble to 6.5 from 8.9 as he rattled in seven birdies in 54 holes and finished at 14 over par.

Dad Gary said: ‘He was chuffed with the way he played. He was 11 over gross for the first 27 holes and was then three over for the last 27 holes.

‘Once he got the measure of it, he really raised his game. His last round was a personal best.

‘There were kids from four continents and 36 countries.

‘We met a family from Peru and people from a lot of European countries.

‘So we thought a top-10 finish would be a good result.

‘But the heat was ridiculous – it got up to about 40 degrees, so that was probably the biggest issue.

‘It was like an endurance test at times.’

West certainly started young having first picked up a club at the age of six and has made impressive progress to represent Hampshire under-14s.

With memberships also at Hayling and Liphook, he is now gaining important tournament experience as he aims for future success.

Dad Gary said: ‘I know how hard players have to work if they want to make a career out of it or reach the top of the amateur game.

‘He has got the makings of it but he knows he’s got to work hard at it if he wants to do it in the future.

‘If he’s still at it in 10 years’ time, he may have a chance so we’ll see how he goes.

‘It’s about getting that experience but the main thing is that he loves it.’

West now turns his attentions to the North of England Boys’ Championship at South Moor in County Durham next week.