A NORTH East teenager is taking on the world at a golf championship after winning a European junior competition.

Yarm schoolboy Ben Cordwell-Smith won the boys 15-18 category at the US Kids European Championship.

It means the 16-year-old, who dreams of becoming a professional golfer, has qualified to play at the World Teen Golf Championships in Pinehurst, North Carolina next summer.

At the European tournament, which was held at the Musselburgh Golf Club in East Lothian, Scotland, Ben shot scores of 74-70-71 (-1 total) to win by one shot.

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This made him eligible to compete in the Van Horn Cup - a match played among the best players in each age category from the three-day event.

He shot a 70 - a (-2) better ball score - with his playing partner Ross Smith, from Atlanta, to win their point for the gold team, which won the overall match to be crowned Van Horn Cup champions.

Ben, who is a member of Wynyard Golf Club and goes to Yarm School, said: “This is the highlight and biggest achievement in my golfing career to date. Many of the best professional golfers have qualified to play in this event in their junior years so it was a great experience. 

“I hope it stands me in good stead for the future as my ambition is to be a professional golfer.”

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Huw Williams, headmaster at Yarm School, said: “Ben is a talented golfer and to qualify for next year’s World Teen Championships is a fantastic feat.

“He works extremely hard at his game, and it is thanks to his dedication and effort that Ben has got to where he is today in the world of competitive golf.

“This latest achievement is a significant addition to Ben’s golfing CV.

“He deserves every success and everyone at Yarm School wishes him well in his goal of pursuing a career in golfing.”

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