Justin Rose and Matt Fitzpatrick both used the Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championship as the launchpad for success, and the UK and Ireland’s next generation of stars will be hoping to follow their example when they compete in this year’s competition at Quinta do Lago in Portugal.
The pair, members of Europe’s losing Ryder Cup team, are part of an impressive list of past event winners, and this year’s line-up of 12 boys and nine girls will be hoping to add their names to the illustrious honours’ board when the tournament takes place in the Algarve from October 31 to November 4.
Entering its fourth decade, the prestigious 54-hole stroke play competition – which will be held on Quinta do Lago’s highly-acclaimed North Course – will be returning to the resort for the fourth successive year, with the finalists coming from all parts of the British Isles and Ireland.
Heading the field of qualifiers will be English girls’ amateur champion Cloe Frankish, from Kent, Irish boys’ champion Mark Power and Harrison Linney, who topped qualifying after shooting an amazing course-record 62 at his home club, West Essex, in a round which included ten birdies.
Representing Scotland will be Peebles teenage ace Darren Howie, Denbighshire’s John Roberts will carry the hopes of Wales while Hugh O’Hare will hope to copy Northern Ireland compatriot Olivia Mehaffey’s title success after she romped to victory in the girls’ event 12 months ago.
This year’s tournament featured a record number of entries with an estimated 25,855 juniors participating, an overall increase of 38 per cent on figures last year.
Hailed by 2014 European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley as one of junior golf’s Majors, the event will be staged for the third year running on Quinta do Lago’s North Course, one of three 18-hole championship courses at the luxury resort.
Officially opened by McGinley in October 2014, the 6,156m-layout has quickly risen to become one of the new stars of European golf, and played a key role in Quinta do Lago be named as Portugal’s best golf resort in Golf World’s inaugural rankings of the Top 100 Resorts in Continental Europe 2016/17.
An eight-time host of the Portuguese Open, the resort has reinvented itself over the last six years into one of the world’s most vibrant luxury lifestyle experiences, with the redesign of its North Course and the opening of its highly-acclaimed new Bovino Steakhouse among a number of high-profile changes.
The official winter training base for England Golf’s elite squads and situated in the tranquil setting of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, Quinta do Lago is perfect for a relaxing family holiday in exquisite surroundings and offers the very best in award-winning sports and leisure facilities.
Away from the fairways, there’s plenty to keep guests occupied with events, tennis, cycling and watersports just some of the extensive leisure activities available, while a choice of 10 exclusive bars and restaurants take advantage of the fresh Mediterranean produce that Quinta do Lago has become famous for.
Telegraph Junior Championship www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/sport/juniorgolf/
Quinta do Lago www.quintadolago.com