Some of golf’s most prodigious young talents showcased their skills at the Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championship at Quinta do Lago last week.
The competition, which was sponsored for the third time by former winner Rose, saw 24 boys and girls compete across 54 holes for a trophy that has also been lifted by golfing greats such as Alice Hewson and Matt Fitzpatrick.
A dozen players in each category took to the resort’s iconic South Course – the first major event hosted on the layout since it underwent a €7 million renovation project last year.
Despite threats of a late comeback from a number of high-quality opponents, 17-year-olds Dylan Shaw-Radford and Sophia Fullbrook – who had led their respective tables heading into the final round – managed to hold on for victory.
Fullbrook, a member of the Melbourne Club at Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire, had established a strong lead after two rounds and held her nerve to win by two strokes. Shaw-Radford – from Huddersfield Golf Club – also won by two, demonstrating remarkable consistency with scores of 69, 69 and 70.
Over 17,000 entrants were narrowed down through qualifying to the 24 finalists, including reigning boys’ champion Harley Smith, 17. With a plethora of experienced competitors in the field, it came as no surprise that both Fullbrook and Shaw-Radford needed to keep their focus until the final hole to ensure their respective victories in the Algarve.
Seventeen-year-old Jack Lee, of Rochester & Cobham Park, came closest to knocking Shaw-Radford from his perch with an exceptional round of 68 on the second day. Meanwhile, the finest individual performance of the tournament came from 15-year-old Amelia Wan, of Nottinghamshire. Her stunning opening round of 65 – seven-under-par on the par-72 layout – made Wan the early favourite to top the girls’ division. However, the prestige of Fullbrook and second-placed Rebekah Gardner, of Clandeboye, eventually told and saw Wan slip to third.
Known lovingly as ‘The Unofficial Major of Junior Golf’, the Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championship is open to any golfer aged 18 or under at the turn of each year. Quinta do Lago is regularly entrusted with hosting duties, having staged the event six times in eight years.
Shaw-Radford said: “This means a great deal. Just look down the names who have won it – Justin Rose himself, Andrew Coltart and a fellow Yorkshireman in Matt Fiztpatrick, 10 years ago. What a way to finish 2022.”