Jamie Li battles to Telegraph victory

Jamie Li OLivia Mehaffey

England boy international Jamie Li signed off his junior career with a thrilling win in the Telegraph BMW Junior Championship at Quinta do Lago in Portugal.

Li, from Bath, was playing in his third and last final and won the boys’ title by a shot after an 18-hole, last round battle with John Gough (Stoke Park).

Li had held a two-shot lead overnight from Gough, but his round started badly with a two-stroke penalty shot on the par three second, when he practised and grounded his club from a water hazard.

It meant a triple bogey six for Li and his lead wiped out in one hole. Gough soon had a four-shot lead, but Li fought back superbly on the back nine with four birdies to finish with a 70 and -5 under overall, as his rival failed to claw back the deficit on the 18th’s sloping green.

“It was the best I’ve ever putted on that back nine and this win feels great,” said Li, 18.

“It was hard going after my two shot penalty but after the worst moment it switched around pretty quickly to become the best moment of my career and the back nine was just so enjoyable for me.

“I’ve finished my junior career on a real high and I’m extremely happy.”

Wentworth’s Daniel List finished third at level par for the tournament.

The girls’ title was won by Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey, the world No 16 amateur, who won by 16 shots, one of the biggest gaps in the championship’s history.

The 17-year-old shared the first round lead with England girl international Eloise Healey (West Lancashire), but forged ahead in the final two rounds to finish six- under par overall. She adds this to the Scottish, Irish and Welsh Open Amateur titles she has already won this year.

Healey finished runner-up while Chloe Howard (Elfordleigh) was third.

Jamie Li is pictured with Olivia Mehaffey.

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