Yorkshire golf: Huddersfield's Megan Lockett drops to plus one as she prepares for Mexico

HUDDERSFIELD'S Megan Lockett thought she was setting herself an unrealistic goal when she made gaining selection for the World Amateur Team Championship in Mexico her aim for 2016.

Huddersfield's Megan Lockett, back row left, with her Wales team-mates at the recent Home Internationals.
Huddersfield's Megan Lockett, back row left, with her Wales team-mates at the recent Home Internationals.

But Lockett has earned the call from Wales and will head for the Mayakoba El Camaleón and Iberostar Playa Paraiso courses next month as part of her country's three-woman team.

"I was hoping I had a chance and I set it as a target at the start of the year, but it was a target that wasn't very realistic," said the 19-year-old, who on Wednesday moved to a plus one handicap with an 11th-place finish in the English Women's Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship in Bristol alongside her Yorkshire county team-mate Rochelle Morris (Woodsome Hall).

"It was a case of if I had the year of my life then I would have a chance - and I have had my best season to date, so I am very happy."

Now Lockett is preparing to represent Wales in a world event that completes the set of having played at all international levels for the country she chose to represent as she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her father Warren, head professional at Cleckheaton.

"Mum (Diane) and dad are over the moon," continued the 2015 Yorkshire amateur champion. "To have played every international by the age of 19 is something very special, so they are very excited."

Lockett - who lies third in the Welsh Order of Merit - will fly to Mexico on September 8, giving her and her team-mates Katherine O'Connor (West Byfleet) and Chloe Williams (Wrexham) the chance to acclimatise ahead of the four-day Espirito Santo Trophy event getting underway on September 14.

She will then fly home on September 20 and be back at Birmingham University two days later.

"My exams were pretty good this year, but I'd like to knuckle down a bit more next year," she said. "I have played a lot of golf this summer, early season as well.

"I will probably cut back the golf a little bit next year because, at the end of the day, I went to university to get my degree so that has got to be my priority."

The Golf Union of Wales were responsible for helping Lockett discover that the pain she was in when playing golf was due to scoliosis, which had left her with curvature of the spine in three places.

"It has been a big thing for me," she said. "At the age of 13 or 14 I could not play golf pain-free and I had to work seriously very, very hard at trying to get myself to move better or it would've been a case of not being able to continue playing golf."

She gives much of the credit for her improved form this year to a friend at university who has helped with her strengthening and conditioning.

"I'm on a scholarship at the university so I get gym access," Lockett explained, "and the differences I have made - not just strength-wise but in moving better than I did - has had a massive effect on what I can do with my golf swing.

"I've got all these physical problems with the three curves in my spine and a very, very poor functioning left hip, which locks, but my friend Ray has worked with me, to get it functioning in the right way, and the changes are just unbelievable.

"Dad was absolutely gobsmacked after I came back at Christmas following three months at university when he looked at the change in my golf swing, in how I moved, so I can't thank the university enough really.

"Strengthening and conditioning is what I want to do as a job; it's very similar to physiotherapy, but it's more about trying to prevent injuries rather than fixing them."