– John Ellis wasn’t about to let an injury stand in the way of
competing at the AT
amp;T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last weekend, especially with
the tournament so close to home.
Pebble Beach – John Ellis wasn’t about to let an injury stand in the way of competing at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last weekend, especially with the tournament so close to home.
“He wanted to come out and play,” said childhood friend and caddie Mike McGrath, a Gilroy High grad. “It was tough, but he stuck it out.”
Ellis, 27, plans to see a doctor this week to check out his options for his wrist injury incurred during Q-School. He may pursue surgery and would be out two to three months.
“It held up pretty good,” Ellis said. “I hadn’t been playing too much. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if I’d even be able to play this week. None of my poor shots or score were due to the wrist. The conditions were tough, but it was scoreable. I just didn’t do it.”
After battling the elements on the Pebble Beach course like most golfers on Thursday, the Live Oak grad couldn’t recover from a six-over-par 78. He finished tied at 140th with a 9-over-par, failing to make the cut.
What really hurt was the final five holes Thursday, where he shot 5-over.
“Being the first tournament of the year, I didn’t know what to expect,” Ellis said. “I played OK early on at Pebble Beach. I kind of got a bad draw, finishing in a horrendous windstorm.”
The highlight of the week for Ellis was an eagle at No. 18 on the final day at Poppy Hills. He landed his second shot on the green at the par-5, and then sank an 8-foot putt to a nice round of applause from the gallery.
“That was probably one of the best shots I’ve ever hit,” Ellis said. “I had just three-putted 17 from 20 feet. I had 250 to go to get to the back right pin placement, which is hard to get at there. I ripped a 3-wood. It started a little right. The wind got it and it rolled right next to the pin.”
Ellis, who currently lives in San Jose, had a handful of family and friend who came out to watch him play in the rain and wind.
“I felt more comfortable (than previous years),” said Ellis, who was making his third appearance at Pebble Beach. “But not being able to prepare like I would like to made me feel more uncomfortable in the sense that I didn’t really know where my game was. I like to prepare hard, and I wasn’t able to. That is no excuse though. I still expected to be playing on Sunday.”
“He is still one of the best ball hitters you’ll see,” McGrath said. “Like most young golfers, it is just a matter of time for him.”