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Telford van driver qualifies for World Championships

TELFORD golfer Anton Reader makes his living as a van driver but it’s driving of a different sort that has booked him a spot on the plane to a World Championship in America.

Anton, 46, put on an incredible display of driving recently when he took the American Golf Long Drive Championship Over 45 title in front of Sky Sports’ cameras, and with it, secured qualification for the World Long Drive Championship in Oklahoma.

The Horsehay Village member made it through to the American Golf Final after qualifying first through a competition at his local store and then at a regional event. Once at the High Legh Park final he was a model of consistency hitting winning drives of 340 and 343 yards in his quarter and semi-final match up.

“I heard about the championship after calling in to my local American Golf, where Nigel Thomas, the assistant manager and a golf buddy of mine suggested I enter. The final was a brilliant day. Coming face to face with guys I’d seen hit huge drives on TV was a little intimidating, but I knew my chance was as good as anyone’s on a good day,” said Anton.

Once in the final it was just a question of whether or not he could hold his nerve and reproduce the consistency that had served him so well throughout the day. After a nervy couple of blows he sent out a huge 343 yard drive which his opponent, David Willmore from Brize Norton, couldn’t match. After the event Anton said: “Winning the final against Dave was the best golf moment I’ve ever had. I know I can hit a ball but I’d just come for a day out, winning was a pipe dream. Things like that don’t happen to people like me, it’s a memory I’ll treasure for years to come, well until next year anyway!

“I can’t wait to get out to Oklahoma and represent American Golf and Garmin. I’ll be giving it my all in the world finals and can’t even believe I’m saying World Finals!”

Daniel Gathercole, director of marketing and communications at American Golf added: “Anton is such a lovely guy and wore his heart on his sleeve all day. He’ll make a fantastic ambassador for American Golf and Garmin and will stand a real chance of making an impact at the World Finals.”

Anton’s winning effort is on Sky Sports 4 on September 20 when you’ll be able to see his fantastic reactions to victory, including an impromptu climb into the crowd. Also on display will be the Ladies and Under 45’s championship where American Golf has uncovered some truly world-class talent to put on a plane to the US along with Telford’s very own long driver.