MOVE over Tiger Woods!

Teenage golfer Katie Stephens from North Yorkshire is on course to play in the USA after winning a top national competition and being awarded a scholarship.

Katie, 18, from Stokesley, has dreamed of being a professional since she first picked up a golf club.

Now her determination and drive has meant she’s been awarded a scholarship to study in South Carolina. And she says it’s all thanks to Middlesbrough College’s Golf Academy and their coach James Atthey, golf professional attached to Stokesley Range.

It’s a daunting prospect for the young golfer moving nearly 4,000 miles but her mum is going with her for the first fortnight to help her settle in. She said: “I’m really excited about moving to America but I’m also quite nervous, so it will be nice to have my mum there when I start.

“I’ll definitely miss my home comforts, but this is everything I’ve been working towards. My dream is to be a professional golfer, at any level, and this is the next step on that journey.

“I dedicate everything to this sport. I practice every other day and play in as many competitions as I can, alongside my studies. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”

Katie plays off a +2 handicap and scooped the overall top spot at the Association of Colleges Open Championships, a series of hotly contested tournaments for college students from around the country which helped her clinch her scholarship.

She will be studying at Charleston Southern University and plans to specialise in sports psychology or nutrition.

Katie is currently in the second year of a Sport and Exercise Science course at Middlesbrough College She added: “The College’s Golf Academy is one of the main reasons I chose to study there. James is the best coach around and I feel incredibly lucky that I get the support I need to be able to play alongside my studies.

“If it wasn’t for the College or James, I probably wouldn’t be heading to South Carolina this summer.”

Middlesbrough College’s Sports Academies offers specialist coaching to develop sporting excellence, nurture talent and aid personal development. For Katie she has been offered access to the same level of technology and learning that golf professionals use.

James Atthey said: “Katie has been a model Golf Academy member for the past two years, both in squad sessions and when representing the College.

“She has a first-class attitude, always giving 100 per cent when training and is hungry to learn and improve.

“She’s had some excellent results this year and it’s been a pleasure having her as part of our squad. We wish Katie all the best in her US golf scholarship”.