MEGAN Taylor, Brampton Park’s leading junior golfer, is leaving England behind and heading to the USA on a four-year scholarship.

The 18-year-old, who will be heading stateside next month, has been one of Huntingdonshire sports' most promising talents over the last few years - and now she will complete her golfing education at Wingate University in North Carolina. "I have always wanted to go to America and do the university thing," said Taylor. "So we started looking into it about two years ago and I began talking seriously to the coach at Wingate in October last year - and then, in December, I was offered the scholarship."

Taylor's mother, Lynda Hall, who encouraged her daughter to take up the sport at the age of 13, said: "It's a route that many good golfers will take but you won't find many who are going out there from here."

Taylor was interviewed over Skype and had to sit exams in Cambridge to qualify for the scholarship, which she won for both her sporting and academic abilities. At Wingate she will split her time between the golf course and the lecture hall. She will play for the university's golf team in a nationwide league and will travel to away fixtures by plane. "Going back six or seven years all they were interested in was the golf but now they are really interested in developing the students' academic sides as well," said Hall. "Luckily, Megan's quite bright."

Taylor and her mother live in Buckden and it was for the village football team that Megan was playing when her skill with a golf club was discovered. "I played football for the county and I got scouted for Arsenal," she said. "But I only do golf now, I don't have time for any other sport."

Taylor won the Cambridge Junior Golf Championships last year and has played for the Cambs County ladies' team. She is a 3-handicap and spends time on a golf course almost every day. Taylor looks at her mother during our chat and says: "You're the one I blame for getting me into this annoying sport."

"She's used to getting cold and wet," Hall said. "And that's why I am moving to America," replied her daughter.

Hall explained: "Two years ago Megan said 'this is what I want to do' and the opportunity arose for her to go down to Essex and be part of the Lee Westwood Golf School - so she has been down there for two years and that was difficult initially, her going off at 16, but she has been very focused so I am really proud of her in what she has achieved in her golf as well as her studies.

"It's a fantastic opportunity but I will miss her like mad."

Hall, 49, has been playing golf at Brampton for 15 years and her husband Gary is a junior organiser at the club. She was keen for her daughter's story to be told because, she said: "I just think it will help other young golfers to strive to do the same - especially girls, as there is still a real drive to get girls' into golf,"

Taylor still isn't sure whether she wants to become a professional player - and her current thinking is that she would like a career within the sport, but as a coach or psychologist. "It's very exciting," she said. "I can't wait to get out there."