SILLOTH, England (Aug. 3, 3012) -- Harry Ellis from Hampshire will meet Lancashire’s Henry Tomlinson in a north v south battle over 36-holes tomorrow for the English Amateur Championship, supported by abacus, at Silloth-on-Solway.
Both had to go to the 19th hole in their semi-finals before Ellis overcame Jordan Smith, while Tomlinson edged past Nathan Kimsey.
Ellis perhaps the youngest at 16 ever to reach the final, found himself three down through six holes but he battled back to go 2-up with three to play.
But in the see-saw semi, Smith won the 16th and 17th to square the match and they couldn’t be separated at the last. But returning to the first hole, Smith fired his approach through the back and failed to get up-and-down, while Ellis needed just a regular par four to win.
“This is unbelievable,” said the Hampshire teenager. “I felt my game was suited to match play but I had to dig deep today. Even when I was three down I never stopped believing and I haven’t felt under pressure all week.
“I think it was a bonus playing the Carris Trophy last week on a links course and I felt if I could get through the qualifying I had a good chance. I’ve been playing well this season and felt it was only a matter of time before something good happened.”
In the other semi-final, Kimsey twice held the lead only for the durable Tomlinson to battle back. The 19 year old from the Royal Lytham club, eagled the 13th to get back to all square then gained a great break at the next.
His second shot was heading for the heather but struck a buggy and finished on the fairway and from there he pitched on and holed for birdie to go 1-up.
He increased that with a birdie at 15 only for Kimsey to win 16 with a par but Tomlinson was still ahead playing the last. It was here that Kimsey had a lucky break when his approach from the right rough was heading for the mire behind the green until it struck a TV man and dropped on to the fringe.
From there he took two putts for par but it still seemed Tomlinson was in the box seat. But he three-putted from distance, his second putts horseshoeing out. So again the contest went down the 19th.
There they both hit the green in regulation and faced birdie putts from around 20 feet. But while Tomlinson took two for par, Kimsey took three and was out.
“The ball bouncing off the buggy on 14 was a big break for me but it was levelled when Nathan got the break on 18,” said Tomlinson.
“It was a rollercoaster day but I kept telling myself I could win. I felt the eagle at 13 was the key. I hit a five iron to 15 feet and holed the putt. It was unfortunate for Nathan on the 19th but you have to keep going and this will be my first ever final.”
Tomlinson caused the major upset of the day when he put out Brabazon Trophy winner Neil Raymond on the 18th in the morning, while Kimsey ended the dream for his Lincolnshire colleague Shaun Marshall also on the last.
The first tee time is at 0830 tomorrow (Saturday 4th August) and entry to the event for specators is free.