Holly em­barks on Amer­i­can dream

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Www.kentonline.co.uk/sport - By An­drew Gi­d­ley

Holly Stand­ing is fac­ing an im­por­tant few days in her young life.

This time next week, the 17-year-old Ash­ford golfer will be pre­par­ing to get her A level re­sults and five days later, flies to the United States to be­gin a two-year schol­ar­ship at Tyler Ju­nior Col­lege in Texas.

She said: “It’s the first time I have been to Amer­ica and am a bit ner­vous. I am go­ing there to get some ex­pe­ri­ence and play in bet­ter weather.

“Turn­ing pro­fes­sional is my am­bi­tion. It’s a long way off at the mo­ment but I would like to see how far I can go in the game.”

Stand­ing, who al­ready has eight GCSEs, left St Anselm’s School in Can­ter­bury in May, hav­ing al­ready gained a dis­tinc­tion star in sport and is now wait­ing on two other A level re­sults, in govern­ment and pol­i­tics and English lan­guage.

Holly has gained a full schol­ar­ship at Tyler Ju­nior – 98 miles from Dal­las – af­ter sub­mit­ting her CV to a Glas­gow­based com­pany Pro­dream USA, founded by for­mer Walker Cup win­ner Lorne Kelly and run by three full-time PGA pro­fes­sion­als all with US col­lege ex­pe­ri­ence,

Stand­ing looked set to be head­ing to Iowa at one stage but cir­cum­stances forced her to change her plans and at one stage she thought she might have to put things on hold for a year.

She said: “I re­ceived four of­fers – two from Texas, one from Alabama and the one from Iowa – which is the one I was ac­cepted. What hap­pened af­ter that is a bit of a blur but meant I had to look else­where.

“It took a cou­ple of months to find another col­lege, at one stage I thought I’d have to de­lay things and do a gap year.

“It’s a full schol­ar­ship which means I only have to pay for my flights and the fa­cil­i­ties are good.

“Lessons are from 8am to noon, fol­lowed by prac­tice in the after­noons, and play­ing four or five times a week.”

“I will be there for two years and then have to make a de­ci­sion about whether to come home, or go on to univer­sity for two more years.”

Holder of Ash­ford Golf Club’s Ladies’ Cham­pi­onship, her trip means she will be un­able to de­fend her ti­tle in Septem­ber. She is also South East Re­gion Ladies’ un­der-18 cham­pion.

Coach Steve Mitchell, now based at Etch­inghill Golf Club, near Folke­stone, said: “I have worked with Holly since the age of nine and she has al­ways been top of her age-group.

“She is qui­etly con­fi­dent but re­silient, shows great ma­tu­rity as player, with a good at­ti­tude.”

Holly Stand­ing – starts a new chap­ter in her ca­reer in the US

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