Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Golf The Open

Coach tips Ellis to follow Koepka all the way to top


By Ken Gaunt

Harry Ellis has been compared to US Open winner Brooks Koepka by his coach at Florida State University. Trey Jones says Meon Valley's new Amateur Champion is already showing he is not only an outstanding golfer but someone with rich family values.

Koepka graduated from the University in 2012 and Jones is convinced Ellis, 21, has a glittering career in front of him.

The talented Hampshire golfer, who won the English Amateur as a 16-year-old, will line up alongside Northern Ireland's 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke at Royal Birkdale for the first two days.

Jones, who helped Koepka develop from a promising golfer to a Major winner, is keeping an eye on Ellis's progress from a distance.

As coach of the Seminoles for 13 years he knows what it takes to sort out the wheat from the chaff. So his thoughts on Ellis are worth noting.

"Golfers by nature are independent as they spend a great deal of time alone focusing on themselves and their game. This is often a challenge when you put golfers in a team setting," he said.

"Harry is right there with Brooks Koepka as a person, who is an outstanding golfer but more importantly cares deeply about family, friends and team.

"For example, Harry phoned me with a question about a playing opportunity in Abu Dhabi in January. His question and concern was more about how his opportunity would affect our team rather than himself.

"I like to believe good things come to those who earn them. Harry has given up a lot to be the golfer he has become.

"He has a plan, never wavered from it during the challenging times, and is now seeing the benefits of his discipline."

Koepka, 27, qualified for the US Open as an amateur in 2012 after winning three tournaments while playing for the Seminoles.

But after missing the cut, he decided to turn professional and made the surprise decision to move to Europe and join the Challenge Tour.

It turned out to be a great springboard for the American.

Jones added: "Harry will gladly be a great ambassador for England, his local club and Florida State University as the British Amateur champion.

"He is a gentleman. Being an outstanding golfer is secondary in his mind."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph