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Starlet teams up with golfing legend

Oscar Sharpe has teamed up with legendary coach David Leadbetter in his bid to become a future world number one.


The 15-year-old Cheltenham golfer, a Minchinhampton member who attends the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, requested a meeting with Leadbetter, who rebuilt the swing of Nick Faldo before his run of six major wins.


The pair met at Leadbetter's main base of Champions Gate in another part of Florida and their scheduled 10 minutes spilled into something longer when the 55-year-old identified "that indefinable something" in Sharpe.


They have now joined forces and legendary amateur Peter McEvoy, who had advised Oscar's dad Michael to let him develop naturally, believes the time is right to have someone on board.


"David liked what he saw in Oscar," said McEvoy. "I know that they're based in Florida and obviously the college that Oscar attends has its origins with Leadbetter, so this arrangement should suit them both.


"I'm flying out to Orlando for a golf show tomorrow, so hopefully I will meet up with Oscar and David and see how it's going."


Sharpe, who moved to Florida in September and made an immediate impact by winning his first two tournaments, wakes at 5.30am and practices his short game until 8.30am. After breakfast, he attends school from 9am to noon before spending the afternoon on the range. After that he signs off with an hour-and-a-half in the gym.


If his hard work pays off, Sharpe will tee off for Great Britain and Ireland at next year's Walker Cup in Merion just short of his 17th birthday. And McEvoy sees no reason why that should not happen after noting more improvement in Sharpe's game during a Christmas round.


"I played with Oscar on New Year's Eve and you could see he has moved on again, but we did have a bit of an argument about who won," joked the 54-year-old former Walker Cup captain.


"He has only been working with David for a very short time but he definitely looked in good form."

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