A YOUNGSTER dreaming of becoming the next Rory McIlroy has celebrated after coming up trumps in an adult club competition.

Ben Mawson won the captain’s competition at Bishop Auckland Golf Club on Sunday, June 16.

The 11-year-old, from Bishop Auckland, took the lead early on in the singles competition and finished with a score of eight over par.

He competed against 500 players and hopes to turn professional in the future.

The youngster said: “I want to be like Rory McIlroy when I grow up – he’s my favourite golfer.

“I started playing golf when I was about two after my dad got me into it, now I play in competitions and practice after school.

“I didn’t think I’d win the competition when I was playing but as soon as I saw my score I was really happy, I knew I’d beat the other golfers.”

The golfing prodigy is a pupil at Polam Hall School, in Darlington and trains at Bishop Auckland Golf Club with guidance from his father Richard Mawson.

Mr Mawson said: “He’s on the verge of beating my handicap – which is frightening.

“I am so proud of how he conducts himself on the golf course he could be as good as he wants to be if he practices and works hard.

“I can’t thank everyone at Bishop Auckland Golf Club enough – they have been really supportive of Ben and I’ve seen a huge improvement in his game.”

Mr Mawson is also a keen golfer with over 20 years experience.

The 45-year-old started teaching Ben how to play as a toddler and has seen his progress through the years.

He coaches the youngster alongside golf professional Michael Pilgrim at Bishop Auckland Golf Club.

Mr Pilgrim is head professional at the club and started playing as a child.

He turned professional in 2001 and was the head assistant at Seaton Carew Golf Club for six years.

The sportsman has been the head professional at Bishop Auckland Golf club for several years and has over 11 years experience in the professional golf industry.

Ben and his father said they would encourage other youngsters interested in the sport to come and join Bishop Auckland Golf Club.

The Polam Hall School pupil is already planning to participate in next year’s captain’s competition.

He hopes to follow on from his success at Barnard Castle Golf Club’s junior open on Sunday, June 30.

If you would like to become part of Bishop Auckland Golf Club message the club on Facebook at @BishopAucklandGolfClub or call 01388-663648.