Katie and Hollie eye glory in Portugal

MANCHESTER starlet Katie Jane Stanley is targeting success on an international stage next week when she heads to Quinta do Lago in Portugal to compete in the final of the 2014 Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championship on the resort’s eagerly-awaited revamped North Course.

 

The 15-year-old, who plays off a handicap of one at Hopwood Cottage and qualified with a gross round of 72 at Delamere, will line-up against the cream of the UK’s top up-and-coming golfers for the chance to lift the title at the prestigious venue.

And she will be joined by England Girls squad member Hollie Muse will also have her eyes on the top prize.

The West Lancashire one handicapper qualified with a gross round of 70 at the North of England Open, will line-up against the cream of the UK’s top up-and coming golfers for the chance to lift the title at the prestigious venue.

 

The 21 finalists are in for an added treat this year as they will be among the first golfers to play Quinta do Lago’s totally revamped North Course when the 54-hole strokeplay event is held at the resort for the second year in a row from October 8-10.

The highly-regarded event is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, with the field of 12 boys and nine girls competing for the chance to succeed 2013 champions Ashton Turner and Alice Hewson.

 

The North Course has been redesigned by renowned American architect Beau Welling in close collaboration with Paul McGinley, and the European captain of the winning 2014 Ryder Cup team will be on hand to officially open the new development just 24 hours before the tournament starts.

 

John Dwyer, chief executive of Quinta do Lago, said: “It’s a great honour for Quinta do Lago to be hosting the final for the second successive year in what is a very important year both for the event and our resort.

 

“The redeveloped North Course is part of a significant investment programme that is being undertaken at Quinta do Lago. We received some terrific feedback after hosting the event in 2013 and I think the juniors will be blown away by what they see this year with the new-look North Course. The layout is very different but very playable and is a real challenge, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the finalists.”

 

The two winners in Portugal will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of former finalists who, in previous years, have included the likes of 2013 US Open champion Justin Rose, Tom Lewis, Tommy Fleetwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Melissa Reid, Hayley Davis and Carly Booth.

 

This year’s championship has attracted one of the strongest fields in the history of the competition including defending boys’ champion Turner, making his third successive appearance in the event and one of a number of England internationals taking part.

 

Rising stars Jack Singh-Brar, Jamie Li, Lauren Horsford and Lily Downs will also be returning to Quinta do Lago after competing in 2013; India Clyburn will be hoping to continue her recent successful run after winning the English Girls Amateur Championship this summer while Hugo Kedzlie will be the event’s youngest-ever finalist after only turning 14 at the end of last month. (September)

 

In addition to competing in one of the world’s biggest junior tournaments, the finalists will enjoy a trip to the Portugal Masters during their stay to watch some of the top Tour stars in action including European Ryder Cup heroes McGinley and Thomas Bjorn, while they will also receive an assortment of the latest top-of-the-range golf equipment from TaylorMade adidas Golf.

 

Hundreds of qualifying rounds have been staged at clubs across the UK throughout the summer, with this year’s group of finalists including the winners of a new under-15 net competition for boys and girls.

 

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