England international India Clyburn overcame a late attack of the nerves to seal a superb season by winning the girls’ title at the 2014 Telegraph BMW Junior Championship at Quinta do Lago in Portugal.
The 17-year-old from Woodhall Spa has been on stunning form this summer and led from the front at Quinta do Lago’s redeveloped North Course to add the prestigious title to her season’s roll of honour.
India has already won the English girls’ open amateur, the Scottish junior stroke play and the Royal Birkdale scratch trophy – and helped England to win both the girls’ and ladies’ Home Internationals.
India, sister of Ladies’ European Tour player Holly, held a commanding five-stroke lead after the first day, when she returned a course record 69, and extended her advantage by a further stroke going into the final 18 holes.
But on a rain-interrupted last day, North Yorkshire’s Lily Downs began to close the gap as India hit trouble as the event reached its climax. There was just one stroke in it when India overcooked a shot and found her ball lying by a tree root on the 15th hole, leading to her second double-bogey of the day.
But India settled her nerves by securing a fine birdie at the par-three 16th hole before maintaining her composure over the final two holes to clinch a two-stroke victory from Lily Downs (Romanby), with Surrey’s Elizabeth Prior (Burhill) five shots further back in third.
"It was so tough out there, especially with two doubles in my last round,” said India."I was getting angry with myself and in the end I lost count of my score and didn’t know what to do. I just tried to do something in the final three holes.
“It’s great to add my name on the trophy and all the things that come with winning this. My coach, Graham Walker, happened to be out here for the first round so I was happy to tell him that I shot a 69 in my opening 18!"
Meanwhile, the boys’ event featured an impressive performance from Portugal’s number one teenager Vitor Lopes, who produced sub-par rounds of 70 and two 68s to win the title by four shots from Cheshire’s Rhys Nevin-Wharton (Sandiway) with Worcestershire star Oliver Farrell (Evesham) back in third.
India and Vitor 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.
Previous winners of the event, which was hosted by Quinta do Lago for the second year running and celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, have included the likes of the 2013 US Open champion Justin Rose and stars of the men’s and ladies’ tours in Europe, Oliver Fisher, Melissa Reid and Carly Booth.
In addition to competing in one of the world’s biggest junior tournaments, the finalists enjoyed a trip to the Portugal Masters during their stay to watch some of the top Tour stars in action, while they also received an assortment of the latest top-of-the-range golf equipment from TaylorMade adidas Golf.
India was one of 12 boys and nine girls to take part in the 54-hole competition and the 21 finalists became some of the first golfers to play Quinta do Lago’s totally revamped North Course.
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 was on hand to officially open the new development just 24 hours before the tournament started.
Caption: India Clyburn with John Dwyer, the chief executive of Quinta do Lago.
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