HARRY ELLIS quickly put his disappointing Masters opener behind him and insisted: I’ll learn from the experience.
The Meon Valley Golf Club ace posted a 14-over-par round of 86 on his Augusta debut today.
That left the 22-year-old in little doubt that his participation in the weekend is already out of reach.
However, the confident Florida State University student refused to let that prospect get him down.
Instead, Ellis showed maturity beyond his years when taking questions from the media, with the ink barely dry on his card.
And rather than letting the dismay of his first round consume him, he chose to focus on the positives of his Masters debut.
‘Nothing can prepare you for that moment (standing on the first tee at Augusta),’ said Ellis.
‘It doesn’t matter who it is or what anyone has told you, nothing compares to that feeling of being on that tee.
‘To be able to step on that tee and have the honour of being in the field and looking down the first hole is so special.
‘You’ve just got to learn from that – and the more times you’re in that situation the better you get at it.
‘I had a poor round and I’m disappointed, but I also know that I’ve learned so much from that.
‘And until you’re in that position, you’ll never know how you’ll react.
‘Today I was pretty nervous, I’m not going to lie, but I was very excited as well.
‘The score got massive, but I still felt pretty comfortable.’
Ellis, who was partnered by 1998 Masters champion Mark O’Meara – plus last year’s tied US Open runner-up Brian Harman – double bogeyed the first hole after a wayward drive.
And although he settled into his game with two consecutive pars on two and three, four dropped shots over the next three holes saw him sit six over after six.
A birdie on the eighth helped reduce the arrears, following a mammoth putt to save par on seven.
But despite a build up of momentum, an inward nine score of 45 – including a triple bogey at 10 – meant his card was signed with 86 posted.
The British Amateur champion said: I got off to a little rough start and just hit some shots that I haven’t hit for a while.
‘Wednesday night, with my coach here, I was hitting it great, really good, so I was very excited about going out there and getting stuff in.
‘The putting felt good, too, but I didn’t putt really good all day, I was just scrambling around trying to save numbers.
‘It’s a little bit hard when you know you’ve got off to a rough start and then start a little rough on the back nine.
‘You kind of lose all your momentum and what you were looking forward to.
‘But I finished up the round with a good par and, like I said, I’m not trying to make it (to the weekend), I’m just trying to keep learning.
‘When you have rounds like this you learn the most. I’m open to that and I’ll come back tomorrow and hopefully post a good score.’