North West youngsters head to US colleges

FOUR of England’s leading young golfers, including two from the North West, will be heading to the USA this summer to take up places at American universities.

The teenage internationals who will continue their studies while developing their golf are Eloise Healey, The West Lancashire club, Rhys Nevin-Wharton from Sandiway;  Matty Lamb of Northumberland and Somerset’s Jamie Li.

Derek Hughes, the England Golf boys’ manager, commented: “I am so pleased to see that these players will be continuing in higher education as well as progressing their golf. I know they are looking forward to following the footsteps of the many England Golf players who have been successful in college golf.”

Among those they follow are world number four Bronte Law (Bramhall), a student and four-time winner at UCLA. Internationals Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough/Florida International) and Tomasz Anderson (Brocket Hall/Jacksonville State), who is now a professional, both have seven college wins; while Ben Taylor (Walton Heath) holed the winning putt to seal Louisiana State’s victory in last year’s NCAA Championship.

Healey, 18, was in the 2015 England team which won the girls’ Home Internationals for the eighth successive time and will take up a place at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

She said: “It is a great opportunity to continue to develop my golf and compete at a high level, especially during the winter months. Having seen many older players go down this route, it’s always been something that I’ve wanted to do. I hope to rise to the challenge of college tournaments and achieve successful results as well as experience from competing on a variety of courses.

“Academically, I’m aiming for a degree in maths or physics and I think that university in the USA will provide the support to help me to balance this alongside my golf.

“I’m extremely grateful for all the support I’ve received from England Golf which has helped to develop my game and contributed towards me gaining this scholarship. I’m really looking forward to representing my university and country over the next few years alongside a great team, as well as gaining life experiences and independence.”

Rhys Nevin-Wharton, who celebrates his 18th birthday this week,  had a series of high finishes in 2015 including third place in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. He is going to the University of Tennessee.

“I have decided to go to the US because of the opportunity to progress my golf game and play high-level competitive golf all year round. Also I can gain experience from playing on the different grasses and different conditions over there,” he said.

“It is also important to me to get a degree so that I have a back-up for my golf career. I’m hoping to win multiple events over there, and I’d like to make an All American team.

“I was influenced by the number of PGA Tour players that attended US universities and also by older England boy players who have gone over there and been successful.”

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