England junior internationals Ashton Turner and Alice Hewson won the boys’ and girls’ titles respectively in the Telegraph BMW Golf Championship at Quinta do Lago, Portugal.
Turner, from Kenwick Park in Lincolnshire, overturned a four-shot deficit to win, while Alice Hewson won a battle with childhood friend Samantha Fuller on the final green in front of a 100-strong gallery.
Turner, 17, who revealed in the week that he turned down an X Factor live audition to focus on his golf, admitted that he came here to prove a point after finishing fifth in last year's finals, won by the world’s leading amateur Matthew Fitzpatrick.
“I really wanted this one and my aim was to come back stronger,” he said after a closing 69. “Fitz’s win last year and what he has achieved since is a target for everyone now. It is an honour to follow in Matt’s footsteps and recreate what he has done.”
At the start of the final round Turner was four shots off the pace set by Algarve resident Nathan Brader – who pitched in from 90-yards to birdie the first. But by the turn, Turner shared the lead and he moved ahead on the back nine, notably holing out from 10ft and 17ft on the 10th and 15th, where Brader three-putted.
Turner finished the event three clear of Hampshire’s Jack Singh Brar, who also signed off with 69, and of Brader.
Meanwhile Alice Hewson, from Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, led throughout the girls’ event. But she had to withstand a strong challenge from fellow girl international Sammy Fuller before she claimed the title.
“So stressful!” were the 16-year-old’s first words, as relief poured out when she knew she’d claimed the title by two shots. Competition was intensely close between the two girls throughout the 54–hole event, as they returned the same score in both the first and last rounds. But Alice claimed a crucial two-shot advantage in the second round.
Alice, who has multiple offers from American universities, said: “I couldn’t control what Sammy might do so I took it one shot at a time.”
The two junior winners will now tee it up alongside Paul McGinley, the Ryder Cup captain, at next year’s BMW Championship Pro-Am at Wentworth. “I’m just so excited by this,” Alice added.
Leading final scores
211 Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park) 72 70 69
214 Jack Singh-Brar (Brokenhurst Manor) 73 72 69; Nathan Brader (Portugal) 68 70 76
216 Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park) 75 71 70; Jamie Li (Bath) 69 75 72
218 Ewen Ferguson (Sco) 73 71 74
221 Arrun Singh-Brar (Brokenhurst Manor) 71 77 73
224 Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted) 76 73 75
226 Samantha Fuller (Roehampton) 76 75 75
235 Ellie Goodall (Selby) 80 79 76; Sophie Keech (Parkstone) 82 75 78
238 Mollie Lawrence (Rochester & Cobham Park) 78 76 84
Caption: Alice Hewson (second left) and Ashton Turner (second right) receive their trophies.