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North Course test awaits top UK juniors at Quinta do Lago

Quinta do Lago’s North Course has been showered with praise since re-opening last autumn, and finalists will have the chance to discover one of Europe’s new golfing stars for themselves when the Telegraph BMW Junior Championship returns to the prestigious Portuguese resort for the third year in a row in October.

Hailed by victorious European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley as one of junior golf’s Majors, the event will see 21 finalists – 12 boys and nine girls – compete at the award-winning venue from October 12-17 for the opportunity to join an illustrious roll call of previous winners.

The highly-regarded 54-hole strokeplay competition is celebrating a landmark 30th anniversary in 2015, with past champions including 2013 US Open winner Justin Rose, Tom Lewis, Tommy Fleetwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Melissa Reid, Hayley Davis and Carly Booth.

Portugal’s Vitor Lopes and rising England star India Clyburn claimed the boys’ and girls’ titles after three days of fierce competition in 2014 – with Lopes becoming the first European to win the tournament – and Quinta do Lago is looking forward to its new North Course staging another exciting tournament later this year.

John Dwyer, chief executive of Quinta do Lago, said: “Everyone at Quinta do Lago is delighted to be hosting the final for the third year in a row.

“The juniors were blown away by last year’s experience when they played the North Course shortly after it had reopened and it is ideally suited to host such an important event on the junior calendar. The layout is very different and a real challenge, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the finalists later this year.”

Qualifying for the 2015 Telegraph BMW Junior Championship began this spring and hundreds of qualifying rounds will be staged at clubs across the UK this summer, with the eventual finalists again including the winners of a nett competition for boys and girls introduced last year, with the age limit being increased to under-18.

Officially opened by McGinley last October, Quinta do Lago’s North Course was one of the most talked-about design projects in Europe in 2014, with the venue being completed in the space of just ten months.

One of three world-class championship courses at the luxury venue, the new-look layout has quickly become a firm favourite with golfers and was named ‘Europe’s Best New Golf Course’ at the 2014 World Golf Awards.

Redesigned by renowned American architect Beau Welling in close collaboration with McGinley, the North Course has been built to the highest specification and has been redeveloped with the emphasis firmly on precision and strategy.

While many modern-day developments tend to focus on length, Welling and McGinley have been keen to design a golfing experience where accuracy and course management are the key factors, and a course that is playable and fun for players of all abilities.

Set amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park, Quinta do Lago has been at the forefront of European golf since opening in 1972, with its championship courses  matched by outstanding practice facilities including Europe’s only Paul McGinley Golf Academy, the only TaylorMade Performance Center in Southern Europe and a new short game area – also created by McGinley and Welling.

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