Cockleford golf ace in European prize money chase
4:25pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in Sport
CHARLOTTE ELLIS is hoping to end her rookie season on the Ladies European Golf Tour with a flourish after her best-ever finish in the Spanish Open last week – and she is prepared to go to the other side of the world to do it.
Ellis, from Cockleford near Cheltenham, finished 29th in Tenerife and it would have been a whole lot higher but for a disappointing third round of 76 which meant she lost touch with the leaders.
The Tenerife effort came a fortnight after a promising display in the UNIQA Ladies Open in Austria when, although missing the cut by a single shot, she played some scintillating golf. Her opening round of 71 included no fewer than six birdies.
After a mid-season slump when she missed seven consecutive cuts, Ellis feels she is now in the sort of form that could help her make an impact on the golf leaderboards this autumn.
And she will have to step up her game, as she is currently 40 spots below the top-85 threshold in the prize money list which earns exemption to the tour in 2013. “I have five tournaments remaining in 2012 and I need at least two really good finishes,” said Charlotte, a former English amateur international and Order of Merit winner.
While the eyes of the golfing world, indeed the whole sporting world, will be on the Ryder Cup at the Medinah course in Chicago this weekend, Ellis will be honing her game ahead of an assault on the Lacoste French Open next week.
“I am only on the reserve list for the French Open as it is a very small field, but I will be disappointed if I don’t get in,” she said.
“Then there are two tournaments in China, one in India and we end the season in Dubai come December.
“I was very happy with the way I played in Tenerife and I played just as solidly for my 76 as I did on the other three days (when she shot 72, 71 and a closing round of 70).
“It was just a case of the putts not dropping on that day.”
Ellis has been talking through her first difficult year on the professional circuit with her mentor, former Tour regular Kirsty Taylor, as well as Stuart Little, the professional at her Minchinhampton Golf Club and someone even closer to home who knows her game intimately.
“My dad came to watch me play and he said I was taking far too long before hitting the ball – I was over-thinking it,” said Charlotte. “I have been getting in my own way.
“So I have been trying to relax a bit more and get back to how I used to play as an amateur.”