Clitheroe youngster receives England call-up

A 12-YEAR-OLD golfer from Clitheroe has received an England call-up.

Thursday, 11th November 2010, 7:48 am

Young Sophie Lamb is hoping to give the sport an injection of fresh impetus in the Ribble Valley by flying the flag for female competitors.

And, if her rapid progress continues, the Year 8 Westholme pupil could follow in the footsteps of leading ladies Michelle Wie, Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez.

The Clitheroe Golf Club representative was faced with a tough deliberation last October – whether to continue her passion for horse-riding or dedicate her full time and attention to her clubs.

Sophie chose to combat the 18 holes.

Coach Jane Forrest's prowess is currently helping to pave the way for Sophie's sporting success as the youngster attends regular lessons on the fairways of Clitheroe, and at Rishton's Lee Valley Golf driving range.

Sophie's tenacity in the golfing ranks initially earned her a county call-up for Lancashire following numerous eye-catching performances.

Her handicap has dropped from 23 at the beginning of the year to 12, and she won the best overall net with 143 at the Northern Girls' Championships at Whitley Bay in August.

Prior to that, she won the Under-12s section of the Junior British Golf Tour at Surrey's Heythrop Park after firing a birdie on an 18th hole play-off.

She has also taken the crown at Clitheroe's junior knockout competition.

And Sophie took full advantage of her reward by winning her first match for the county in Lancashire's victory over Cumbria.

Her first training session for England is on Sunday, November 21st, at Rudding Park in Harrogate.

Sophie's mum Carina said: "It's been quite incredible really.

"She's a sporty girl and everything's just snowballed. My husband Phil is a golfer, and we come from quite a big family who are involved in golf.

"I think that's where her enthusiasm came from.

"Clitheroe have been absolutely brilliant with Sophie.

"The club has really helped to push her along.

"They've made her feel part of the whole set-up there and she's really enjoying it. They've been fantastic."