BURTON golfer Josh Thorley has eyed further success this summer after leading Derbyshire to the finals of the England Golf Union Boys’ County Championships.
The 17-year-old captained Derbyshire to victory in the Midlands qualifying round for only the second time last month and now faces a busy few months of golf.
Despite a disappointing opening round of 82 at the County Championships, the Branston-based golfer produced a level-par round of 72 to help shoot his side to the top of the leaderboard.
And now Thorley has set his sights on doing well on an individual level, with several junior competitions just around the corner.
“I’ve played well recently for Derbyshire but now hopefully I can do well in the individual events,” he said.
“Two of the next big events are the Boys Open and the Midland Amateur Championships and they are two events I would like perform well at.
“I’m confident that I can do well at both and there’s no reason why I can’t win them.”
The golfer, who also plays at Broughton Heath, is certainly putting in the effort to match his ambition in the sport – but currently sees his education as a priority.
“I train four, maybe five times a week at around four hours per day,” he said.
“I spend a lot of time in the gym though, so it’s not just all golf practice, and with still being at college during the week, I don’t start training until the early evening.”
And despite enjoying the atmosphere around team events, it is the relaxing individual side of the game that appeals most to the golfer and this has led to the young star pursuing a long career in the sport.
“Once my education is out the way and finished, my next step is to hopefully move to America with the view of getting a scholarship in somewhere like California,” said Thorley.
“My aim is to continue playing on the amateur scene out there in order to gain experience and some ranking points.
“I don’t want to make the mistake of trying to turn professional too soon as it can lead to financial difficulty, so I’m probably looking at another five or six years on the amateur circuit.”
And it’s not just Josh who is proud of his achievements to date, with his father Geoff thrilled with his progress.
“It’s remarkable to think that four years ago Josh was representing Derbyshire in the same regional finals,” said Geoff.
“He’s got his education to concentrate on for the next year or so, but after that hopefully he will take things that next step further.”
Josh’s Derbyshire side travel to Sandiway Golf Club in Nantwich, Cheshire, for the national finals on August 26 to 28, where they will face three other regional winners in a round-robin tournament.
Before that, the teenager will contest the Midland Boys Amateur Championship on July 3, the Boys’ Under 18 Open Amateur Stroke Play (the Carris Trophy) from July 22 to 25 and then the Brtish Boys Championship from August 12 to 17.