Tate ready for Jakarta test

Clanfield golfer Ossian Tate. Picture: Innes Marlow
Clanfield golfer Ossian Tate. Picture: Innes Marlow

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Clanfield youngster Ossian Tate will be leading the home challenge at the World Junior Championships in Jakarta next week.

The 12-year-old, who is a member at both Waterlooville and Southwick Park golf clubs, has been selected to represent the UK team in the 11-12 years category for next week’s international showpiece that attracts the cream of the world’s young golfing talent.

While the Petersfield School student is keen to impress at Damai Indah Golf Club in Indonesia, the expected hot and humid conditions will be a far cry from the wind and rain of his qualification at Trentham Golf Club in Stoke-on-Trent last month.

But with the youngster having made exceptional progress after taking up the sport only a year ago, it should be valuable experience, with his hopes set on becoming a professional in the future.

His father Kevan said: ‘He’s been playing on the UK Juniors Golf Tour.

‘We were a bit shocked that he got in but he played really well. He has done fantastically well because he’s only been playing for a year.

‘He got his first handicap of 28 last May. He’s now down to 8.6 and is aiming to get to scratch in a couple of years.

‘But it’s going to be a massive experience for him.

‘The heat and humidity will be a big thing and there are some seriously good players out there so he is just going there to do his best.

‘He could easily go out and shoot three phenomenal rounds and still finish way behind some of the young Chinese players.

‘No European has ever finished in the top 10 but if he keeps it in play, who knows.

‘But he was absolutely thrilled to get through. He takes it all in his stride – he’s very calm and he’s not one to go around shouting about it. He’s just looking forward to it.’

Previous winners include 14-year-old Guan Tian Liang, who became the youngest competitor to play in the US Masters recently.

And while its competitors are primarily Asian-based, it showcases the rising talent in the golfing world.

But it’s a remarkable journey for Tate in a short space of time, after only really trying his hand at the sport in the Easter holidays last year.

Kevan explained: ‘We were looking for something to do in the Easter holidays last year and he suggested playing golf.

‘I gave him a 28 handicap – he then shot 44, 42, 43 and 44 points!

‘So we thought it might be worth getting him involved with a club.

‘He made his debut for Hampshire under-13s against Surrey last year and has just got better and better over the winter.

‘He’s had a couple of lessons on the course and that’s about it.

‘But when we get back from Jakarta he will have a bit more coaching.

‘He wants to turn professional. He knows how hard that is going to be but he tells me he will be a pro in six years when he’s 18. We’ll see!’