ENGLAND’s youngest amateur champion, Harry Ellis, has been called up to represent Europe in a prestigious tournament.
The 21-year-old, who is at Florida State University (FSU), has seen him selected for the Arnold Palmer Cup – the annual clash between the best American college golfers and their European counterparts.
Ellis will become just the second Hampshire player to appear in the event.
‘I’m thrilled to be a part of the Arnold Palmer Cup and have the opportunity to represent Europe,’ he said.
‘I’ve put in a lot of time and effort to get my game to the level that allows me to be a part of these special events.
‘It is extremely satisfying when the efforts are rewarded along the way.’
Ellis broke Sir Nick Faldo’s record when he claimed the English amateur title at Silloth-on-Solway, aged just 17, in 2012.
But having reached the peaks at such a tender age, he has also experienced the crueller side of the game as his form dipped the following season.
He then took the decision to cross the Atlantic midway through the collegiate term in early 2014.
Over the next two seasons, it was a slog just to get picked for FSU, who have boasted the likes of Sweden’s Jonas Blixt and American Brooks Koepka among their recent graduates, with just one round in the 60s.
Having returned home last May, the Meon Valley G&CC member claimed the Lagonda Trophy at Cambridge’s Gog Magog.
Ellis then won the south east qualifier at Calcot Park to send Hampshire to the English county finals for a sixth time in 10 years, with a second-round 65.
Ellis has continued his rich vein of form since leaving the UK for his third season in the Sunshine State.
He’s picked up two top-five finishes to his name so far in 2016-17.
He was fifth at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate in the autumn. Ellis was second at the Seminole Intercollegiate played earlier this month at Southwood GC.
He shot rounds of 67, 66 and 70 as FSU took second spot – breaking their own course record in the process.
Ellis added: ‘I am also grateful for the people around me at FSU, coaches, team members, staff and also the people back home who have pushed me and supported me over the past couple of years.
‘At times it’s not always been easy, so I’m thankful to them, too.’
The two-time Hampshire junior champion is scoring an average of 71.04 per round this season.