4 August 2012:
Ellis crowned youngest ever English champion
Harry Ellis is the new English Amateur champion. He won the title, supported by abacus, by beating Henry Tomlinson 2 and 1 in a 36-hole marathon final that lasted ten minutes short of 11 hours after two thunderstorm stoppages.
He is the youngest ever champion at 16 years 11 months and 28 days, beating the previous record set by 18-year-old Nick Faldo when he won at Royal Lytham in 1975.
“I’m overwhelmed and exhausted,” said Ellis (image © Tom Ward). “I feel I’m in a dream but the whole week has been superb. I felt like pulling out after playing the Carris Trophy last week because I’ve played so much golf.
“At 16, you don’t expect this sort of thing to happen. You see the likes of Rory McIlroy making the headlines but you don’t expect to add to the history of this event.
“I had no expectations at the start of the week but I think not knowing my opponents helped a lot. You just go out and play golf.
“I think my mental strength carried me through while I had tremendous support from those in Hampshire who made the long journey here to cheer me on.”
Tomlinson, virtually unknown outside his native Lancashire but on a golf scholarship at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, was naturally disappointed.
“Full credit to Harry. He played well,” he said. I missed a few putts which were crucial but I’ll take a lot of positives from this.
Having trailed for most of the morning round and gone into lunch 1-up, Ellis extended his lead when Tomlinson three-putted the first. They were on the fourth green when play was suspended for the first time.
They resumed two hours later after the course had superbly soaked up gallons of water that had many greens under water.
But the pair completed only the fourth, which Tomlinson won with a par four, and two more holes, which were halved, before lightning forced the second suspension for an hour and 20 minutes.
When they resumed for the third time and after sterling work by the greenstaff, the rest of the final was completed in evening sunshine while the golf matched the magnificent surroundings.
Tomlinson had the chance to win the seventh as he had the fourth when play resumed on the first occasion. But this time he three putted to allow Ellis to remain 2-up.
It stayed that way until the tenth where Tomlinson holed from 18 feet for birdie to cut the deficit.
But Ellis hit back at the 11th with a 20-foot birdie putt after his opponent had splashed out of a bunker to two feet.
Ellis went further in front at the short 12th after both had finish short of the green. But while Tomlinson chipped eight feet past the pin and missed the return, Ellis left his two feet away and holed for par.
At 3-up, Ellis seemed home and dry. But Tomlinson bravely bounced back with back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th, both par fives.
At 13, both missed the elevated green. Ellis chipped to five feet and Tomlinson to 15 feet. But while the Lancastrian holed, Ellis missed.
Then at 14, Ellis fired his drive right on to a mound, could only chip back to the fairway and reached the green in three. Tomlinson was short of the green in two and chipped so close his putt was conceded.
Ellis needed to hole from distance but failed and his lead was back to one.
It looked as if Tomlinson would add a further birdie at the 15th but he missed from five feet, a slip he was to regret.
They halved the 200-yard 16th in pars superb chip shots but the end came at 17 when Tomlinson bunkered his approach. He came out to the back of the green and saw his putt slip by but Ellis, whose second finished short of the putting surface, wedged to three feet and holed out for victory.
More information, interviews and final results for the Men's English Amateur can be found on the Championships section of the England Golf website.