Ellis gains vital experience

Harry Ellis
Harry Ellis
Scott Gregory. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Gregory: None of the pros care I won British Amateur

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When you land a title as coveted as the English Amateur Championship at the age of 16, it’s probably no surprise that you might struggle to match it the following year.

But Harry Ellis believes he has taken some valuable lessons that will stand him in good stead for what promises to be a successful career.

The Meon Valley Golf Club teenager earned his first boys cap in this year’s European Boys Team Championships and was runner-up in the Michel Carlhian Trophy in France, second in the Hampshire Hog and third in the McEvoy Trophy – certainly no disgrace.

Under normal circumstances, it would represent a successful year.

But there is no getting away from the fact he didn’t match or better his extraordinary efforts from 2012.

Ellis will represent the county in the Junior Champion of Champions event at Woodhall Spa this weekend – his final event as a junior having just turned 18.

But he clearly has wisdom beyond his years after taking a mature view on his 2013 season.

Ellis said: ‘I’m satisfied. Things didn’t go quite to plan but I’ve gained some more experience and that’s massive going forward.

‘It was hard to live up to last year.

‘I could come away from the season thinking “that’s not really that great” but I’ve had some quality results in there as well.

‘So it has probably made me realise how good winning the English Amateur last year was.

‘It has given me a bit of perspective on things.

‘This game is all about being patient.

‘This year hasn’t been easy all the time but I’ve got through it.

‘It didn’t quite happen for me on the links this year.

‘But I’ve played the circuit and I know what to expect now.

‘It will definitely help me going forward and it would be good to compete and do well this weekend.’

Ellis is already on the national radar and is part of the England A squad – although he is keen to force his way into the elite squad.

But he is also weighing up whether to take up an offer of a stint at Florida State University early next year.

He explained: ‘Being in the England A squad gives me a bit more opportunity to train with them.

‘I was actually a little bit disappointed not to get into the first team, to be honest.

‘But I also have an opportunity to go out to the USA and play.

‘It wouldn’t be for the full four years. But it’s a rare opportunity.

‘It would mean I would go out there in January until the summer, get a lot of practice in and hopefully play for the team to get into events.

‘Being at college here last year, the schedule was too much and it was hard to get the right balance between golf and studying.

‘I had a 50-per-cent attendance and I didn’t miss one day through illness.

‘So I was always playing catch-up and you don’t need that extra stress.

‘I want to make a living out of golf eventually and sometimes you have to make these decisions to give yourself the best chance.’