A 12-year-old golfer – who hit her first ball as a three-year-old – celebrating the round of a lifetime with Ryder Cup hero Thorbjørn Olesen, after winning the Bridgestone Chase Your Dream Trophy.
Isabelle Badger, from Stourbridge was one of three winners of the prestigious competition for club golfers, run in partnership with England Golf.
Their money-can’t-buy prize was an invitation to play at the pro-am of the Sky Sports British Masters at Walton Heath.
Pedmore High School pupil Isabelle enjoyed an occasion to treasure in front of thousands of spectators at the European Tour event, with Dane Olesen – who thrashed Jordan Spieth in his Ryder Cup single match on Sunday – on hand to give his expert advice and tips during the 18 holes.
She even went on to be interviewed by Sky Sports at the end of the round, with footage to appear on two different sports shows in the coming days.
Olesen said: “Isabelle was incredible. She is a little talent and it was great to spend time with her on the course. She has a great future and it was my pleasure to help out with little bits of help here and there.”
Isabelle was given special dispensation to miss a day at school to play at Walton Heath and she said she’ll never forget the experience.
She said: “I loved every second. I felt more confident than I thought I would. There were lots of people watching and clapping. It’s usually only Dad with me, so this was a bit different.
“I watched Thorbjørn on television last week when he played in the Ryder Cup, so it was crazy to be playing alongside him today. He was such a nice man. All of my friends back at school are really proud of me and have supported me during the different stages to get here, so I can’t wait to see them again and tell them all about it.”
The 13 handicapper had her mum Emma and Dad Carl with her for every step of the way and they were both extremely proud of their girl.
“We are really, really proud of her,” said Emma. “She did great. The way she handled herself and the maturity she showed was lovely to see. We’re immensely proud – and emotional.”
The competition was created by the world’s number one tyre and rubber company in an attempt to give something back to the ‘grassroots’ of the sport.
Now in its second year, the Chase Your Dream Trophy has continued to capture the imaginations of thousands of amateur golfers in clubs affiliated to England Golf, just as it did in its inaugural year 12 months ago.
Bridgestone’s North Region Marketing Communications Manager Andy Mathias said: “Isabelle was undoubtedly one of the stars of the entire pro-am. She showed a great deal of grace and flair on the course and we can see that she is going to have a big future in the sport. We’re thrilled for her and to see her chasing her dreams with Bridgestone makes the whole competition worthwhile – that’s what it is all about for us.”
For more information about Bridgestone and its Chase Your Dream concept, visit www.nomatterwhat.uk.com