25 Oct #Golf: Linney aiming to copy European Ryder Cup stars at Quinta do Lago
Harrison Linney, from West Essex Golf Club, will be hoping to emulate the feats of European Ryder Cup stars Justin Rose and Matthew Fitzpatrick next week after qualifying for the final of the 2016 Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championship at Portugal’s prestigious Quinta do Lago resort.
Rose and Fitzpatrick are just two of the famous players to have triumphed in the event’s 30-year history, and Linney, 16, will be one of 12 boys and nine girls aiming to add their names to the winners’ list when the tournament takes place in the Algarve from October 31 to November 4.
The two-handicapper from Sawbridgeworth claimed his place in the elite line-up after heading qualifying after shooting an amazing course-record 62 at his home club in July in a round which included ten birdies.
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.
The 2015 event saw Northern Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey – now fourth in the world amateur rankings – win the girls’ event by a staggering 16 shots while England international Jamie Li triumphed at the third time of asking in the boys’ tournament, and this year’s championship will feature another high-class field.
Heading the line-up will be English girls’ amateur champion Cloe Frankish and Irish boys’ champion Mark Power. Representing Scotland will be Peebles teenage ace Darren Howie, Denbighshire’s John Roberts will carry the hopes of Wales while Hugh O’Hare will be aiming to copy the exploits of Northern Ireland compatriot Mehaffey.
England international Louisa Brunt will be playing for the third year in a row, Frankish, Olivia Hamilton, Harry Goddard and Barclay Brown will all be making their second appearances, while Roehampton’s Alfie Fox qualified for the prestigious event after winning the McGinley Junior Cup at Quinta do Lago this summer.
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 tournament 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.
The redesign of the North Course and the opening of the highly-acclaimed new Bovino Steakhouse are among a number of high-profile changes at Quinta do Lago, and competitors will have the chance to experience the resort’s full array of luxury facilities as well as enjoying complimentary accommodation at the nearby five-star Monte da Quinta Resort.
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.
For more details about the 2016 Telegraph Junior Championship, call 0344 693 1885 or go to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/sport/juniorgolf/