Eloise Healey, who first played the Telegraph finals as a 14-year-old in 2012, recorded a fine 71 to take a share of the lead in the girls’ event after the opening round of the 30th Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championship at Portugal’s famous Quinta do Lago resort.
Healey picked up two birdies in the opening three holes with precision ball-striking before the England under-18 squad member settled for a one-under par score.
“It is a small field but so strong,” said the West Lancashire member, who sank a number of mid-range putts on Quinta do Lago’s recently redesigned North Course.
She will be joined in the leaders’ group by Olivia Mehaffey, the world No 16 amateur player, who shot the same score.
The two know each other well after playing a raft of junior tournaments together, including the Wee Wonders US Kids Championship.
A rising star of Northern Irish golf, Mehaffey recorded five birdies, but a tough position on the 6th left her with a double bogey. Chloe Howard sits in third, five shots back.
In the boys’ event, Jamie Li had a similar mid-round blip when he hit two drives out of bounds on consecutive holes, but recovered to shoot 71 and take a two-shot lead overnight.
Li is a two-time Telegraph finalist at Quinta do Lago and hopes to finish his junior career here with victory. “It’s all about keeping the mistakes out now,” he said.
Li, of Bath Golf Club, was followed by a trio of hard-working 73’s from 14-year-old Barclay Brown, Stoke Park’s John Gough and Daniel List, who plays at Wentworth.
Callum Farr was matching Li until the last when a lengthy ruling forced the Priors Hall member to take a drop after a wayward drive and suffer a cruel double bogey.
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