England players Harry Goddard and Hannah Screen pulled off a Hertfordshire double when they became the 2016 Telegraph BMW Junior Champions at the Quinta do Lago resort in Portugal.
Goddard, from Hanbury Manor, cruised to a nine-stroke victory in the boys’ event, while Screen, from Berkamsted, won the girls’ title by two shots. The pair, both aged 16, were presented with their trophies by European Ryder Cup-winning captain Paul McGinley (pictured).
Goddard follows past winners such as Justin Rose and Matt Fitzpatrick, while Screen is delighted to emulate the feat of her fellow club member and Curtis Cup player Alice Hewson.
Goddard started in style with a new record of six-under 66 on the North course to lead by three. But after a wayward 77 in the second round the field was breathing down his neck with 18 holes to play.
His birdie run returned in the final round when he fired a superb 67 and gradually worked away from his final group rivals, completing the 54 holes in six-under par. "It feels great to win,” said Goddard, who was a member of England’s victorious team at the Boy’s Home Internationals.
“I've had a great season with no missed cuts, mainly against players two years older than me. This is right up there."
The runner-up was Darren Howie (Peebles) while England’s Barclay Brown (Hallamshire) was third on four-over-par. This was Brown's second successive Telegraph event, and aged 15, still has three more chances to qualify.
In the girls’ event, Screen – the Scottish U16 champion – trailed by two after the first round. But she overtook Lily May Humphreys – the English U16 champion – with her second successive 73 and the two players battled it out for the title in the final round.
Screen looked shaken after four-putting from close range on the seventh hole, but three birdies in five holes calmed the nerves and she held on to win by two strokes, on four-over par. Humphreys was runner up while Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer) was a further shot back in third place.
"It was a bonus I even qualified for this event and to follow in Alice Hewson's footsteps, I'm absolutely thrilled," said Screen. "I'm incredibly proud and it's such a good platform for what lies ahead."
Hailed by McGinley as one of junior golf’s Majors, the tournament was being 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 helped Quinta do Lago to be named as Portugal’s best golf resort in Golf World’s inaugural rankings of the Top 100 Resorts in Continental Europe 2016/17.
The resort is the official winter training base for England Golf’s national squads.
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Image © Gary Prior