American dream for youngsters

Three North East youngsters are heading to America to compete in the US Kids Golf World Championships.

Benjamin Miller, Millie Hixon and Autumn Buchanan will be competing with youngsters from 60 other countries at Pinehurst Resort, North Carolina after qualifying for the event.

Benjamin will represent the UK in the boys under eight category after coming through qualification at the British Wee Wonders Final at St Andrews. Meanwhile, Millie will represent the UK in the girls under nine category and Autumn will compete in the girls under seven event just two years after getting her first set of clubs.

Benjamin has been playing golf since he was four years old has been coached by Mark Rayson and Andy Paisley. “I’m so excited and practising hard so I can enjoy it,” said Benjamin. “I just hope to do my best. I have made lots of friends from all over England, Northern Ireland and Scotland playing golf and I’m looking forward to making more from different places in the world.”

A member at Chester-le-Street Golf Club, he added: “I’m just so happy to be going, I’ll try my best and if I can come in the top 20, I’ll be delighted.”

Meanwhile, Millie is coached by Simon Robinson from Rockliffe Hall and is part of the Durham County Girls Elite Squad. Her dad, Sean, said “She was ecstatic when the news came through that she’d qualified, she has just about calmed down. She has made so many friends through golf, including Benjamin and Autumn, and she’s made to feel welcome by everyone at Wearside and Heworth, where she plays.”

Autumn, a member of Matfen Hall and Heworth, has recently become an ambassador for Girls Golf Rocks and is helping to attract more girls to the sport.

When asked how excited she was about the World Championships out of 10, Autumn said: “10 million out of 10. I’m looking forward to playing with players from all over the world.”