Yeppoon golfer heads to US to chase his sporting dream
GOLF: Yeppoon's Ben Swaffield has landed in America, ready to take a monumental step towards his goal of becoming a professional golfer.
The 18-year-old has been awarded a full scholarship at Alabama State University.
He will play a variety of tournaments across the country with the university's golf team, as well as completing a degree in the business field.
An excited Swaffield described it as a dream come true before jetting out on Wednesday.
"This is perhaps the best opportunity I can possibly see myself having to turn professional and it's one I won't be wasting,” he said.
"They have an unbelievable system and access to technology that will enable me to improve every part of my game.
"At the moment my strength is the long game so I will be eager to improve not just my short game but also develop my strength.
"This is huge and I am eager to move into this chapter of my life and see what I can achieve overseas.”
Swaffield has been playing golf for 12 years, and claimed a host of junior open titles in central Queensland.
He had a stellar 2017 in which resulted in him being named the CQ Junior Golfer of the Year.
"I had a stand-out year and really tried my hardest balancing high school and training and that perhaps was the best feeling, winning 10 of the 11 junior opens that I played and coming second in the other one,” he said.
"I really don't have a greatest moment, for me every win is the same. I put the effort in every week and try my hardest.
"Perhaps the greatest highlight was the major trophy at the Greg Norman Junior Masters in 2015, which no one had ever accomplished in CQ.”
Swaffield would love nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of former world number one Jason Day, who also emerged from the ranks of the Yeppoon Golf Club.
Golf Central Queensland secretary Gurney Clamp said Swaffield had been a great ambassador for golf at his home club and across the region.
"His attitude and ability in the game of golf was always admired by all juniors in central Queensland, where he won nearly every junior open, and he was the first junior to win a gross event at the Greg Norman Masters,” Clamp said.