US scholar Beth on championship trail

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FLEETWOOD golfer Beth Garton is certainly enjoying the start of four-year spell under a scholarship scheme at the University of San Francisco.

As well as improving her game and broadening her education, one of the spin-offs is a real perk.

Beth, who represents both Royal Lytham and St Annes and Fleetwood, has automatically been made a member of five clubs in San Francisco.

One of them is the historic Olympic Club, which will host the United States Open Championship in 2012 for the fifth time in its history.

Beth, who recently celebrated her 18th birthday in the States, is a former Lancashire champion, being one of the youngest golfers in the history of the event to win that event.

She is studying sports science and kinesiology (human movement) after being ‘head-hunted’ for a scholarship by the American college, one of a number of universities who were interested in offering Beth a place after noting her outstanding golf prowess.

Beth is in the first year of a four-year college course and has already taken part in full-scale college competitions in Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and Palm Springs. Her father Andy Garton said: “She is doing well over there with her golf and the team she plays for has done well too.

“She is loving it in the US, living on campus, where she shares a room with a girl from Hawaii.

“The autumn season of competitions have finished now and she will be taking part in more in the spring and hoping to qualify from the West Coast Conference to the national finals.”

Beth’s ultimate aim is to be good enough to play on the LPGA circuit in the States, but the scope of her studies in America means that she has several potential strings to her bow, including golf coaching and physiotherapy.