Rhys settles for second place in Portugal

CHESHIRE player star Rhys Nevin-Wharton was left to rue a poor second round after finishing runner-up to home favourite Vitor Lopes in the  Telegraph BMW Junior Championship boys’ event at Quinta do Lago in Portugal.

The 16-year-old from Sandiway Golf Club, led the field of the prestigious tournament after the first day after shooting an opening round course-record 68 on Quinta do Lago’s redeveloped North Course, a score he repeated in his final round.

But Nevin-Wharton was made to pay for a poor display on the front nine of his second round going out in 43, where he admitted to “finding every bunker going”, eventually returning a score of 74 after repairing some of the damage coming back in five-under-par.

Going into the last round four strokes clear of the field, Lopes matched Nevin-Wharton’s score to eventually take the title in comfortable fashion, with Evesham Golf Club’s Oliver Farrell securing third place, nine shots adrift of the winning total.

Nevin-Wharton said: “It would have meant a lot to win this. The front nine on my second round definitely set me back. If I had sunk some early birdies I would have had a chance as I’ve played really well on the back nine both days.

“It would be a great way to end my junior career to win such a prestigious event. But I can’t complain as I finished with a 68, the same as Vitor Lopes, who was a great winner.”

Meanwhile, England international India Clyburn overcame a late attack of the nerves to win the girls’ event by two strokes from Lily Downs with Elizabeth Prior back in third.

Clyburn and Lopes, winner of the boys’ title, will now play in next year’s BMW Championship Pro-Am at Wentworth, an initiative first revealed by Paul McGinley at last year’s finals.

“I actually thought about this on the way round,” admitted Clyburn. “Now that I’ve won, it will be awesome experience to play alongside the professionals.”

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