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Harrison Endycott realised something was up when his iPhone began running hot with messages of congratulations during a Golf NSW State Team training session on Thursday – his dream of making the Golf Australia National Squad had come to fruition.
The elevation to the Squad is a timely reward for Endycott’s stellar play since the start of the year. The Avondale member has won an impressive swag of four prestigious titles across Asutralia including the Lake Macquarie Amateur, the Avondale Medal, the Riversdale Cup, and the South Australian Amateur Classic.
“It feels awesome to make the Squad. I put in so much work leading up to the summer. It’s a nice reward to be added to the National Squad,” a measured Endycott said.
It's an honour too for the people that matter most in the 19-year-old’s life. His Dad Brian, Coach Mark Paterson and Endycott’s best mate, Paterson’s son, Ben.
More importantly, however, it's also honoured a commitment Endycott made to his mother Dianne, who passed away four years ago after a long battle with ovarian cancer.
“I lost my mum when I was 15 to cancer. I made it a goal of mine to represent my country before she passed away,” Endycott reflected.
“It was a very very tough time – I went through a very, very dark place back then.”
Endycott’s mother had chosen to keep the severity of her condition away from her son as the heinous disease took its toll.
“Mum had kept it from me for so long; I didn’t know it was life and death. She had known for a long time that her future wasn’t good. When I found out how bad it was, it was like a huge punch in the face for me.”
With a loss of that magnitude in life, it was understandable for the then 15-year old to react in his own way.
“I was very frustrated after mum died. I was rebellious at the time. I did get angry. No drugs or stupidity or anything like that, but I got up to a few things, and didn’t bother to show up at school quite a few times,” he said.
It took a network of supporters and his dedication to the game combined with the thought inside his head that he could achieve something his late mother would’ve cherished that kept Endycott from going any further off the rails.
“Getting into the headspace I did then, well, without golf and the people I had around back then I would be a different person to who I am now.”
“It's amazing the support and the friendship that I received. It gave me the drive to get on with life, move on, get better mentally and physically. It’s what mum would’ve wanted.”
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Support, and friendship that came from a close circle of friends and family including his Coach Mark Paterson, and Paterson’s son, Ben.
“Mark is my godfather, and Ben had been through his own health problems and he fought through them. I look up to him. He was the guy that always got me back on track when it felt like life had punched me in the face. He’s like a brother to me.”
Through it all Endycott’s father Brian has been a constant supporter, watching his son develop into an outstanding golfer. He couldn’t be any prouder of his son’s achievement.
“Dad’s over the moon with how I’ve been playing, I’ve sacrificed a lot of time with him and in other areas of our life to get where I wanted to get to and he’s stoked that things are happening the way they have.”
For Endycott, achieving the honour of wearing his country’s uniform to honour his late mum has made his selection particularly special.
“This is for her. She's definitely up there somewhere looking on. Hopefully she’s proud of me. Hopefully she’s helping a few of those golf balls back in the fairway when I hook one here and there,” Endycott smiled.