Exclusive interview with Harry Ellis: The English Amateur Champion with high hopes for major success
With the generation of Donald, Westwood, Rose and Poulter having seemed to have failed in capturing major honours, perhaps it is time to look at the next generation of stars?
Luckily, England has its youngest amateur champion to date with 17 year-old Harry Ellis.
Eliis, who was 16 at the time of the event, took the national scene by storm last year when he captured the English Men’s Amateur title at Silloth-on-Solway in Cumbria last August.
The Hampshire-born prospect broke Nick Faldo’s record to be the
youngest player in history to win the title. Faldo was 18 when he won the match-play event, Ellis was just over a year younger at 16 years, 11 months and 28 days.
“It was something I never expected to win so early but knew I was
capable of doing it,” said Ellis, who has recently won his county’s junior title by holing a putt for eagle in a dramatic play-off.
“You see the likes of Rory McIlroy making history at a young age, but to add something of my own is amazing.”
The England junior, who seems fearless to take on the world stage, claims that the game has developed a great amount since England last produced a major champion.
He said: “I believe it's down to the game becoming much more competitive.
“Golfers are becoming athletes now rather than relying on their natural talent, the need to get in the gym and stay in shape now is really important as well as working on your swing for hours.”
Ellis is regarded as a future major hopeful by the game's top coaches and is not scared by his success at such a young age.
“I felt the expectation after winning may have got to me, but the start to this year has been brilliant,” said the youngster.
“I made it to the final of the French Boys International Championship in March, unfortunately I lost but it’s been a very encouraging start to the season. Obviously to go back home and win as well was fantastic.”
The plus-one handicapper has insisted that travelling around the world and playing in front of large crowds is the motivation he needs to get to the pinnacle of his career when he eventually turns professional.
He added: “Overall, my aim is to keep growing as a player and to one day make it to the highest level.”
Northern Ireland has Rory McIlroy as the latest hottest talent in golf, in a few years’ time, it could be Ellis at the top of the leader board challenging for a major title alongside him.
Ellis is not the only talent England has to offer
Stiggy Hodgson - Nicknamed 'mighty mouse' by his peers. The small and feisty character had a vast amount of amateur experience before turning pro in 2012.
Laurie Canter - The 22-year-old qualified for the 2010 British Open in 2010 and currently plays in South Africa on the Sunshine tour.
Tom Lewis - The prospect has the most major championship experience out of these select players. Lewis remarkably led the 2012 British Open after the first round and received praise from one of the game's greats Tom Watson.
Tyrrell Hatton - Having played golf from the age of five, Hatton has already outlined his ambition to play on the European Tour and be in the world's top fifty in the next few years.
Sebastian Crookall Nixon - The young Cumbrian is still an amateur at present but has decided to go to America to learn the game in San Fransisco. He has recently been dubbed a 'freshman sensation' by the US media.