England international Ashton Turner overturned a four-shot deficit to claim the Telegraph BMW Golf Championship boys’ title in brilliant fashion at Quinta do Lago. Meanwhile, the girls’ event went almost to the wire as Alice Hewson (pictured) won a two-day battle with childhood friend Samantha Fuller in front of a 100-strong gallery on the final green.
Turner, a member of Kenwick Park GC in Lincolnshire 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.”
Brader looked to have sewn up the title on the first. The Algarve resident, who performed admirably after starting out as a 16-handicapper five years’ ago, sliced his tee shot, chipped out to the fairway and promptly pitched in from 90 yards for an opening birdie.
Turner and Ewen Ferguson, the British boys’ champion, were startled as Brader carved a five-shot lead. By the turn, Turner and Brader were joint-leaders, Ferguson ruing a three-putt on the eighth which would have put the Scot to within two.
Two moments handed Turner the initiative – Brader’s three putts on the tenth and 15th, while Europe’s top-ranked under-18 golfer sank ten foot and 17 foot efforts respectively. Brader finished with a 76.
“I tried not to focus on Nathan’s game,” added Turner, a member of England’s team that won the European Boys Team Championship this summer. “But once you miss one putt the pressure builds.”
Round of the day belonged to Jack Singh Brar. The Hampshire golfer was seen as one of the favourites here but the 2012 Faldo Series winner never threatened and left Portugal with a 69, which included six birdies.
“So stressful” were Hewson’s first words as relief poured out of the Berkhamsted 16-year-old.
Hewson, who has multiple offers from American universities, held off a superb effort by 14-year-old Samantha Fuller as she finished with a 75 to claim the title by two shots.
“I couldn’t control what Sammy might do so I took it one shot at a time,” said Hewson, a member of Berkhamsted GC and the England Golf Girls Squad, who led from the front all week.
After a tough week for the juniors, the day wasn’t quite done for Turner as the Youth Olympic silver medallist had to show off his vocal talents at the closing dinner.
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,” Hewson added.