Walker Cup dream finally becomes reality for Ellis

Harry Ellis
Harry Ellis
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After becoming the youngest English amateur champion at just 16 in 2012, Harry Ellis naturally targeted a place in the 2013 Walker Cup team.

It wasn’t to be, though, and the Meon Valley star has had to be patient.

But five years on and after making more history in the amateur ranks, Ellis stands on the brink of his Great Britain & Ireland debut in the Walker Cup in Los Angeles this weekend.

The 21-year-old became the youngest player to land the British and English double when he claimed the Amateur Championship at Royal St George, in June.

That win broke the record held by Sir Michael Bonallack, the nation’s most successful amateur of all time, by six years.

Bonallack featured in nine Walker Cup battles between 1957 and 1973.

Ellis, having made his debut in the Open at Royal Birkdale in July, will begin his own Walker Cup charge with tomorrow’s morning foursomes and afternoon singles before a repeat on Sunday.

He said: ‘It’s a lifelong dream and just the cherry on top.

‘We have a great team and a great chemistry and I’m going to embrace the whole experience.

‘It’s such a great event. I’ve seen it for so many years and I know players who have played in it.’

Ellis and fellow Hampshire player Scott Gregory both hope to join a list of Walker Cup players who have gone on to star in world golf and play Ryder Cups – including world number one Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Europe’s past world number ones Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald.

Ellis added: ‘You see what those players have gone on to achieve.

‘You are in good company but nothing is guaranteed.

‘There are a lot of players who don’t kick on as much as they should afterwards. For me, I have been rewarded for my individual play.

‘It is about going out there and playing hard and going to bring the trophy back.

‘You have got to take that away mentally and realise if we all stick together and play tough, we can beat them in their backyard.

‘That would feel even sweeter. You work hard and this is where you dream of being.

‘I believe I am where I belong and to earn these opportunities is great.’

The Great Britain & Ireland team have been hit by the news captain Craig Watson – who also won the Amateur Championship at Royal St George – was forced to pull out of the trip after a serious illness among his close family.

The team is now being captained by Andrew Ingram, a member of Royal Porthcawl in South Wales – where Gregory won last year’s Amateur Championship.

Ingram has been chairman of the R&A selectors since 2014.