GOLFER Lauren Taylor has been named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.
The Hillmorton teenager attended the star studded ceremony in Salford last night (Thursday) with her family where she was one of three finalists.
Lauren, 17, was up against cyclist Lucy Garner and swimmer Eleanor Simmonds, but during the glitzy ceremony she was named the overall winner.
The decision was made by a panel chaired by BBC Sport presenter John Inverdale.
Speaking to the Rugby Advertiser this morning, Lauren said: “Words can’t describe how I felt when my name was called out. I was in shock and just couldn’t believe it.”
Lauren became the youngest winner of the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship when she took the title in June aged only 16.
She played in the senior Women’s British Open, represented Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup and is ranked 20th in the women’s amateur world rankings.
The youngster made a memorable debut on the Ladies European Tour, qualifying for the Slovak Open and then hitting a hole in one during the first round.
Lauren also helped England win a silver medal at the European Girls Team Championships and was also a member of England’s winning Ladies’ Home Internationals team.
She has been now been signed by Baylor College, Dallas, Texas, on a sports-based scholarship.
Previous winners of the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year include Tom Daley, Wayne Rooney and Andy Murray.
Speaking about her achievements, Ryder Cup player and world number 25 Ian Poulter said: “She is not only a great golfer but an extremely well-rounded young woman.
“Lauren is a deserving winner of the award and has my full support as she moves forward with her golfing career.”
Steve Robinson, English Women’s Golf Association national coach, added: “Lauren has always impressed me with her work-rate, attitude and ambition along with her desire to compete - the attributes all top-class athletes require.
“Lauren is a very talented, down to earth sportsperson and has a very bright future ahead of her.”
**FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN, SEE NEXT THURSDAY’S RUGBY ADVERTISER OUT ON DECEMBER 29**