PLEASINGTON teenager Brogan Townend has been rewarded for a glorious 2011 season by earning the opportunity to take her game to the United States.
The 17-year-old two-time Lancashire junior champion from Mellor will become the first English golfer to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) when she heads Stateside next August.
It comes after a sparkling year in which Townend made her England international debut before winning her second Faldo Series Grand Final girls’ title.
On top of that, the Clitheroe Grammer School Sixth Form student smashed the Wilpshire course record by three shots, finished tied fifth in the Ladies’ Amateur British Strokeplay Championship and claimed the prestigious Formby Leveret.
Townend will attempt to wrap up her year in style when, along with Wilpshire’s Elizabeth Stebbings, 17, she heads to the Middle East this weekend for the Abu Dhabi Junior Golf Championship, regarded as junior golf’s ‘major’.
“Brogan’s looking forward to Dubai,” said Townend’s father Simon. “She’s had a great year and she’d love to finish it off with a victory out there.”
Townend will become the latest in a long line of talented young East Lancastrians to enjoy a college or university golf education in America.
Lancashire county stars Kirsty O’Connor (Nelson) and Emma Clegg (Clitheroe) have represented Ball University and Missouri State University respectively, Blackburn’s Ste-ven McGlynn served a two-year scholarship at the Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, while Louis Laviscount of Wilpshire is currently at Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas.
“It’s just a great opportunity for her,” said her father Simon.
“It’s a chance for her to play good competitive golf through the winter months, while earning a degree at university.
“It’s a four-year course but with the option of reducing it to three years.
“We travelled to San Antonio a couple of weeks ago to have a look at the facilties and they are magnificient. It’s a different world out there.”
“If she had the choice, she would go there now rather than wait until next August!”
Representatives from UTSA were keen to sign Townend up for their 2012/13 golf roster after being impressed with her performance at this year’s British Championship.
“Brogan is an outstanding young lady,” said UTSA head women’s golf coach Carrie Parnaby.
“We are very fortunate she made the commitment to join our team and look forward to welcoming her to UTSA next fall. She will be our first English player and currently is one of the country’s top players.
“Brogan comes from a great family and is excited to join our program to improve and be successful.
“She too has an incredible resume that includes a lot of international experience and will have an immediate impact for us.
“Our coaching staff is thrilled to help develop into her full potential.”
Meanwhile, Townend and Wilpshire’s rising star Stebbings will jet out to the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, before competing in the Daily Telegraph sponsored Abu Dhabi Junior Golf Champ-ionships, which start on Tuesday.