Ellis Looks For A Pay Czech In Prague

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Ellis Looks For A Pay Czech In Prague

Harry Ellis at Royal St George’s last summer – credit ANDREW GRIFFIN AMG PICTURES

HAMPSHIRE’S Harry Ellis will seek his first pay cheque as a professional at this week’s Challenge Tour even in the Czech Republic as the Englishman relishes the step-up after a glittering amateur career.

The 2017 British Amateur Champion made the decision to turn professional having made a third Major championship appearance of his career at the US Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills, on New York’s Long Island, last month.

The youngest winner of the amateur double after his victory in the British Amateur just over a year ago at Royal St George’s, Ellis also played in the Masters Tournament in April and at The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale last year.

But now his attention turns to a career in the paid ranks after a low key debut in the Made In Denmark event last week, in which he missed the cut by four shots after carding a five-over total with scores of 74 and 73.

The 22-year-old, who was a member at Meon Valley G&CC for more than a decade, is eager to show his ability in just his second start on the satellite tour – with the top 15 on the money list earning instant promotion to the Europen Tour

Harry said: “The US Open was my last event as an amateur and when I look back at my amateur career – obviously it doesn’t mean anything now I’ve turned pro – but I was fortunate not to miss out on too much and was able to achieve more than I ever thought I would.”

Ellis became just the third player to claim the career double of the British Amateur and English Amateur titles, after Sir Michael Bonallack and Michael Lunt with his thrilling comeback against Aussie Dylan Perry in the 36-hole final at Sandwich.

He added: “Hopefully I can continue that trend into the professional game. I feel like I’ve been able to learn a lot over the last year through my experiences and opportunities that I’ve had. Obviously, this is just the start, the next step for me and another really exciting opportunity.”

Ellis is already facing some of his 2017 Walker Cup teammates during the season – Wales’ Jack Davidson, last year’s European Amateur champion Alfie Plant, former Hampshire Boys team-mate Jack Singh Brar, and Scotland Robert MacIntyre were all in action in Denmark last week.

Now he is a fully-fledged professional, Ellis has set himself goals which will help him strive for success in the coming weeks and throughout his career, staring in the Prague Golf Challenge, which starts on Thursday.

“I think it’s being able to contend,” he said. “I’ve seen a couple of guys who I played amateur golf with already win on the Challenge Tour, plus a lot of the names I’ve come across before.

“Don’t get me wrong, the standard is extremely high, but deep down I believe I can win on this Tour or at least put myself in contention, and that’s all you can ask for.

“There are a lot more factors to winning than just myself but if I can show that I’ve put myself in contention then that’s going to go a long way in my self-belief and my confidence knowing that I belong not only on the Challenge Tour but hopefully on the European Tour and further on in my career.”

But one player he knows better than most is facing a spell on the sidelines after seeing Ellis’ debut last week.

Scott Gregory with Jordan Spieth at Royal Troon two years ago

Corhampton’s Scott Gregory, who claimed the British Amateur title 12 months before Harry, has been forced to stop playing after the wrist injury that affected him in the build-up to the US Open, after a glorious qualifier at Walton Heath last month, flared up in Denmark as he missed the cut by eight shots.

Scott, who has a card guaranteeing limited starts on the second string tour this season said on Twitter: “I have been having issues with my wrist since around the Czech Masters a month ago.

“It’s something that has been frustrating and interrupting my practice, as with all things it has good days and bad days.

“I’ll have days when there is no pain and I can do everything I want to and others where I am restricted to just putting and chipping
However, it is when the bad days are on tournament days that I have a real issue. It’s not so much the pain that}s the issue, it’s the reaction it causes.”

Gregory revealed that if the pain arrives as he starts the downswing he is just as likely to overcompensate to protect the wrist which can cause the ball to go further off line than just hitting the ball and ignoring the pain.

Scott added: “For these reasons I am going for a scan. I hope to have a better idea of what the issue is.

“I am hoping it is something I can get over and get back to playing like I know I can soon.”

Harry Ellis tees off at 1.40pm on Thursday playing with last year’s EuroPro Tour sensation Minkyu Kim.

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