TAUNTON & Pickeridge’s Tom Sloman will be representing Great Britain and Ireland against the USA in the Walker Cup, the amateur equivalent of the Ryder Cup, at Royal Liverpool Golf Club this weekend, writes Richard Walsh.

This is the pinnacle for any amateur golfer to achieve and the culmination of a long road that the 23-year-old, who went to school at Thurlbear Primary and Bishop Fox’s, has trodden.

Sloman said: “Every amateur wants to play in the Walker Cup so I am absolutely delighted and can’t wait to get going.

“I played in the US Amateur at Pinehurst a couple of weeks ago and that was amazing.

“I came second in the stroke play out of about 300 which was pretty good, but then I got knocked out in the first round of the match play.”

Reflecting on his route into golf, Sloman said: “Dad is a keen golfer so when I was five or six I started to play at Vivary, along with playing football and cricket at school.

“When I was nine or 10 I joined Pickeridge, where I have been ever since.

“At that time, Andy Willetts was running the junior section, and then Val Hayward and my Mum and Dad got involved because both my older and younger brothers played there as well.

“I started to play county golf for Somerset regularly when I was about 14, in fact I still am, and as I got older I did quite well and started to take it seriously.”

From Bishop Fox’s, Sloman went to Hartpury College where he did a BTEC, which gave him plenty of time to play golf every day.

“Following Hartpury I took a year out and then went over to college in America, but didn’t enjoy it and came back after three weeks,” Sloman said.

“I played a lot of golf when I came back and had a couple of good results and, about two or three years ago, I got picked by England.

“I won the Dutch Junior Open when I was 22 and have also played in several team events for England.

“After the Walker Cup I am going to Ireland to play in the Home Internationals then straight after that I will probably turn professional.

“Hopefully I will get invites to European tournaments, do alright in them and go on to get a full tour card, from where anything can happen.

“My aim is to play on the PGA Tour – that’s top of the list.

“But as long as I can be on the European Tour in two or three years’ time that would be quite nice, and hopefully go on from there like Tommy Fleetwood did.

“I’d like to try and follow in his footsteps because he has shown it can be done.

“You have to be patient and it will take time but I’d like to think I can make a living out of playing golf and would love to be doing that for the rest of my life.

Taunton & Pickeridge have always been very good to me. They have made me an honorary life member of the club and everyone up there follows me in what I do.

“My Mum works in the halfway hut on Saturdays and they all ask about how I am doing.

“Mum and Dad trailed me around the country for 10 years and I can’t say a big enough thank you to them. Without them none of this would have happened.”

Sloman isn’t the only former Bishop Fox’s pupil to be playing for England this weekend, as just over 50 miles away in Manchester, cricketer Jack Leach is playing in the fourth Ashes Test.