Harry Ellis’ work ethic and mental toughness has been lauded as he prepares for his Masters debut.
The Meon Valley Golf Club talent will rub shoulders with the world’s elite at Augusta, which starts on Thursday, April 5.
It’s a reward for capturing the British Amateur Championship, after defeating Australia’s Dylan Perry in a dramatic sudden-death play-off at Royal St. George’s last year.
Ellis made his Major bow in the Open at Royal Birkdale in July – where he missed the cut – and will now compete for the infamous Green Jacket.
The fledgling amateur has been Stateside for the past three years at Florida State University – one of the finest teams on the collegiate circuit – and has had the opportunity to play Augusta in the build-up.
His dad, Murray, spoke of his pride ahead of the 22-year-old’s maiden Masters appearance.
He said: ‘It’s a fantastic opportunity for Harry and, as a dad, I’ll be made proud.
‘Performances are a result of a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment, which Harry has got bundles of.
‘To play at the Masters against the most elite field in the world, as he did in the Open, is where he wants to be and where he belongs, so it’s going to be a fantastic trip.
‘It’s the only Major that is played at the same course every year and there’s something special about Augusta.
‘I accompanied Harry for a practice day there.
‘We drove down the infamous Magnolia Drive and walked around with him while he was playing – there is a certain aura about the place.’
Ellis’ success hasn’t come easily, however. Far from it, in fact.
Just before he set off for Florida his mum, Tracy, lost her battle with cancer aged 50.
Murray admitted his son went through some ‘dark places’ after losing his mum – but his mental capacity got him through the difficult period.
‘It was a major trauma for Harry, myself and my other son, Craig,’ the 56-year-old added.
‘It’s something we had to deal with and the three of us dealt with it in different ways – but we all went through the right process.
‘Harry went through some dark places and confidence is huge in golf.
‘But he put in the hard work and has admitted going out to Florida helped him massively.
‘The person he is now is, yes, a result of what happened but also his mental fortitude of wanting to succeed.
‘It’s been very tough for us but Harry has dug in and worked very hard mentally and physically.
‘If you don’t put the work in then you’re not going to get the results.
‘Harry perseveres, he’s not a quitter. If you have that work ethic then you have a good chance of succeeding – and I know he will.’