A SPORTSMAN who is a member of Oswestry Golf Club has been shortlisted for a prestigious award after impressing during his scholarship in America.

Tom Matthews has been shortlisted for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NCJAA) Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award.

While he is a member at Oswestry, Tom is also currently in his second year of his junior college scholarship at East Florida State College (EFSC), and is looking to set himself up for a move to a senior college.

He insists it is an honour to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award.

“It’s a great honour to be shortlisted for this award, and hopefully it is a stepping stone to my dream of playing on the PGA Tour,” he said.

After entering his second year of junior college, Tom proceeded to finish inside the top five in all six events that were held before the COVID-19 pandemic and his season was cut short.

Tom won once, finished second three times and fourth twice, and while the records look good he still felt he had more to give.

“My game was in good shape, but I was leaving one or two shots a round out there, so I know I could have done more, given the chance,” he explained.

His impressive record in the events saw him selected as one of the five top players in the NJCAA Division One – a highly regarded honour over in the states and one which he is rightly proud of.

For the NCJAA Jack Nicklaus award, Tom is shortlisted alongside five other golfers from all across junior college golf in America, no small feat for this young aspiring tour player.

Tom got introduced to the game at the age of six by his father Rhys, before coming up through the ranks at Oswestry Golf Club.

Tom has represented Shropshire and Herefordshire as well as playing numerous times for the Welsh team.

Fate has dealt Tom an unfortunate blow, and despite him being confirmed to go on to Appalachian College to continue his golf at a senior college, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant this option is no longer available to him.

Tom has been offered a place back at EFSC, but it is reliant on the pandemic easing, so he is currently reviewing all options and practising hard.