TALENTED 18-year-old golfer Conor Byrne is preparing to depart for the USA where he will join the increasing band of Tyrone players shining on scholarships at top universities on the other side of the Atlantic.
The former Omagh CBS pupil has signed to play for the Hartford Hawks at the University of Hartford in Connecticut for the next four years and having seen the success enjoyed by Dungannon’s Jack Madden and Omagh’s Jordan Hyland since their moves to America, Conor is looking forward to getting stuck into his new life from August 25th.
Although excited about what lies ahead, Conor, who plays out of Strabane Golf Club, admits he’s ‘nervous’ ahead of what is a life-changing ‘opportunity’ – one he intends of making the most of.
“I’m going to be nervous but it’s an opportunity I don’t want to pass me by. I don’t want to be sitting here wondering what if, I hope to be sitting here in five years being glad I did it. I’m just thinking that in five years time I’ll look back and realise it’s been a great opportunity,” he explained.
By choosing the University of Hartford, Conor is jumping straight into the deep end at a division one golf programme, which means that not only is he going to a huge school – based between Boston and New York
– but he will also be coming up against the best of his peers, which is what he is looking forward to most of all.
“It’s one of the big schools, so I’ll be coming up against players who are probably better than me but as the saying goes, ‘you won’t get better unless you surround yourself with better players’, so it will definitely be a challenge,” he acknowledged.
“It will even be a challenge to make teams, but the opportunities over there in terms of practice facilities and tournaments, I can see myself improving.
“Just the experience of competing with that type of player is something I can’t wait for.”
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