GOLF: A RISING borough golfer will be putting his skills to the test this weekend when competing for England at the Nations Cup.
Tom Cleaton will compete with the support of a dozen of England’s finest young golfers with the aim of winning the Fairhaven Trophy in Lancashire.
The 17-year-old, who has been playing golf since he was ten, was called up to compete for England after finishing eighth in the Peter McEvoy Trophy.
His standout performance caught the eye of the national team, and his reward is a spot in Team Four of the competition – which includes Kristian Tannum-Donaldson and Martha Lewis.
The international under 18s championship will be played over 72 holes at Fairhaven Golf Club in Lancashire, starting on Friday (May 5) and finishing on Sunday (May 7).
The team event takes place over the first 36 holes, with the two best scores from three counting in each round.
Speaking to The Observer ahead of the weekend’s play, Cleaton said he’s hoping to play his normal golf and admitted he hasn’t set any ambitions ahead of the tournament.
He said: “I’ve prepared well and I’m happy with my game so it should be good.
“It’s hard to set targets and I’m not sure what people I’ll be competing against are capable of.”
The youngster took up golf after following in the footsteps of his dad and grandad.
After snubbing football, Cleaton decided to stick to his clubs – a decision which has so far proved fruitful.
He added: “My dad and grandad both play golf so I got into the sport through family influence.
“I first started playing at the age of ten and before that I played a lot of football – but now golf is my main focus so I’d like to really make progress with my clubs.
“Playing golf as a way of making a living is certainly something I’d love to do and that’s my long term plan.
“I play for my club, county and region so I’m always practising and making sure I’m ready for events.
“I’d consider myself a steady player that makes few mistakes, that’s definitely my strength.
“Sometimes hitting the greens can be tricky, but I’d like to think I have no standout weaknesses.”
His performance in the Peter McEvoy Trophy came as a big boost for Cleaton who is glad his determination is starting to pay off.
“Finishing eighth played a big part in myself being selected for England,” said Cleaton.
“It came as quite a shock when I found out the news.
“It’s a great opportunity, probably the biggest of my career and it makes all the sacrifice worthwhile.
“Having to balance golf with school work can be tricky but I’m looking forward to this weekend’s championship.”