The brightest young golfing talent from across the British Isles and Ireland are set to battle it out in the final of the 2017 Telegraph Vitality Junior Golf Championship, hosted by Quinta do Lago resort next week.
Defending boys’ champion Harry Goddard, 17, from Waltham Cross and reigning girls’ champ Hannah Screen, also 17, from Berkhamsted will be two of 21 youngsters going head-to-head to secure victory in the highly-respected 54-hole tournament.
The prestigious Quinta do Lago will host the tournament for a fifth successive year where the the top-class field will get the chance to follow an illustrious roll call of previous winners including 2013 US Open winner Justin Rose, Tom Lewis, Tommy Fleetwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Melissa Reid and Carly Booth.
Open to all boys and girls up to the age of 18, this year’s event attracted 21,000 juniors during qualifying. As well as the reigning champions, the likes of Surrey Under-18 captain Alfie Fox, who is back for a second year, and William Hopkins from Sleaford, who shot a nine-under-par 64 in the first round of the Lincolnshire event at Waltham Windmill, will be trying to lift the coveted trophy.
The Isle of Man will also be represented for the first time thanks to Ana Dawson from Peel after she shot a first-round 73 in the girls’ event at the Fairhaven Trophies, a mixed competition featuring some of Europe’s top under-18 players.
Louise Duncan from West Kilbride will fly the flag for Scotland, while Annabel Wilson is the rising star of Northern Ireland after helping Ireland to success in the Home Internationals and finishing joint-second in the Ladies British Open Amateur.
Now in its 33rd year, the 54-hole stroke play Telegraph Vitality Junior Golf Championship, which was hailed by 2014 European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley as one of junior golf’s Majors, is to take place on Quinta do Lago’s redesigned North Course.
Officially opened by McGinley in October 2014, the 6,156m-layout, one of three championship courses at the resort, has quickly risen to become one of the new stars of European golf.
The North Course played a key role in Quinta do Lago being named Portugal’s best golf resort in Golf World’s inaugural rankings of the Top 100 Resorts in Continental Europe 2016/17.
A multi-million investment has led to a number of high-profile additions, strengthening the Algarve destination’s reputation as the world’s leading sport and leisure destination – both on land and on water. The Campus, a state-of-the-art sporting facility, is the latest inclusion that aims to provide the perfect training base for both beginners and world-class athletes in all fields.
Phase One has now been completed that includes the Pavilion, which is the social heart of the facility, tennis courts, padel courts and the Bike Shed for cycling enthusiasts, who can make the most of the all-year round temperate climate.
Quinta do Lago, home to 10 highly-acclaimed restaurants and celebrating its 45th anniversary, has long been famed for its culinary delights. The Bovino is one of the best-loved dining experiences in the Algarve, complementing the sophisticated setting of Casa Velha and the hugely popular Shack, one of the coolest spots around, which is situated on the lake’s shoreline.
Located just 15 minutes from Faro airport, the resort is the official winter training base for England Golf’s elite squads and situated in the tranquil and naturally beautiful setting of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, offering a choice of high-quality accommodation options. The recent acquisition of The Magnolia Hotel adds to the already impressive array of luxury villas that are available for rental or purchase.
A bogey-free 67 handed Finland’s Mikko Korhonen a one-shot lead heading into the weekend at the Shot Clock Masters in Austria.
The R&A has supported the branching out of a new competition for golfers that answer many of the problems the sport faces.