A PROMISING teenage golfer is rising rapidly through the ranks of a national competition – moving ever closer to a dream final at Ryder Cup venue Celtic Manor.
Billy Ellis, from Whitby, took up golf only four years ago, but his natural ability has seen him reduce his handicap to just four and earn an automatic spot in this year’s Faldo Series, which is open to young amateur golfers in the UK.
The 16-year-old has made it to the regional final at Trentham in Staffordshire after winning both North West rounds of the competition, scoring 73 at Royal St David’s in Gwynedd and 80 at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake.
And if he makes the top two in the regional final on August 29, Billy will qualify for the Faldo Series Grand Final at Celtic Manor in Wales – the 2010 Ryder Cup venue – in the under 16 category.
Billy said: “I was surprised to do so well. I had practice rounds on both courses and just planned it out in my head.
“Then I went out and played as well as I could and now here I am in the regional final.”
Mum Yvonne said his success had taken her and husband Phil by surprise.
“He came home one day and just said he fancied a game of golf,” she said. “We had half a set of clubs in the shed so he took them to the Sandfield Driving Range and he really enjoyed it.
“One evening we were watching him and the Cheshire coaches were at the range. We saw them and saw Billy and realised he was hitting it well.
“So we asked about how he could take up the sport properly and that is how he has ended up here.”
Billy has big plans. Although he is not expecting to win the Faldo Series this year, he intends to play in the competition until he is 21.
Then he will begin to consider turning professional in order to fulfil his ultimate ambition, playing on the European Tour.
“I love the game and I have been told I could make it by coaches,” said Billy, who practises at De Vere Carden Park.
“It will be hard work but I have a plan. I am taking each event as it comes at the moment but eventually my aim is to get onto the tour.
“But I won’t consider it until I am at least 21, because when I make the decision, I have to be sure I am 100% ready.”