THIS year has been a highly successful one for talented young golfer Nick Matthews — the Isle of Wight’s top junior — who has gone on to achieve not only at his club, but also at county and national level.

Nick, 15, of Newport Golf Club, is an established part of the Hampshire County U16 and U18 squad set-up, which has got him noticed and rewarded with selection for the England Golf U18 regional squad, which recognises players who have shown national squad level potential.

The Ryde School student’s main achievements this year includes being part of the Hampshire U16s, captaining them to the championship in the England Golf SE Group Regional League.

As part of the U16s, Nick has become the county’s number one under-15 player, unbeaten in his six matches, to earn a reputation as being a county matchplay specialist.

Nick, runner-up in the Hampshire U16 Championship and fifth in the U18 event, was almost unbeatable in Island junior scratch events, winning the Isle of Wight Junior Championship for the second year running and the Isle of Wight Junior Development Tour Order of Merit scratch and handicap events.

He also stepped up to the senior game, winning the Isle of Wight Golf Union’s Harry Gordon Trophy, a scratch event.

Nick also represented his school, Newport Golf Club and Meon Valley with great success, but his biggest joy was taking part in the British Par 3 competition at Nailcote Hall, Warwickshire, as the first and only junior qualifier.

He came up against 1991 US Masters winner and former world number one, Ian Woosman, finishing a stroke behind him and second in the amateur handicap event.

“It was the biggest honour — qualifying and playing alongside Woosnam, in front of crowds and being interviewed by Sky Sports,” said Nick.

The teenager also qualified for elite England Golf events as well during his whirlwind year.

“I’ve had a relatively good season, achieving some of my goals throughout the year,” said Nick, who lists former fellow Hampshire junior Justin Rose, Tiger Woods, Jordan Speith and Seve Ballesteros as his golfing gods.

“My ambition is to play golf in the US, leading to professional status.

“The support of my family and coaches have given me the opportunity to be scouted for a scholarship in the US already, so hopefully my dream will come true.”