Belfast star Gareth Lappin has vowed to learn some valuable lessons from his trip to Portugal to play in the prestigious Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championship after finishing down the field at Quinta do Lago.
The Belvoir Park ace was one of only 21 juniors to qualify for the tournament in the Algarve – the world’s largest junior golf event – but struggled to find his best form during the three-day event, eventually finishing 18 strokes behind winner Ashton Turner.
But Lappin, who returned rounds 79 and two 75s in Portugal, is determined to make full use of the experience at Quinta do Lago in his bid for golfing stardom and plans to stay at the prestigious resort to practice between now and the end of the year.
He said: “It was a different for me, playing in hotter conditions to what I have been used to this year. I didn’t play as well as I could last week. I missed fairways and it was a bit disappointing overall really.
“I am now working at Quinta do Lago until Christmas and I’m looking forward to the next year. I have five offers from American Universities and the States really opens your eyes to how you can handle and apply yourself.”
Turner took victory in the boys’ competition after overturning a four-shot deficit to take victory thanks to a brilliant three-under-par closing round of 69.
The England international, from Kenwick Park GC, began the final round four shots behind Nathan Brader but quickly overhauled the overnight leader to clinch the title in convincing style by three shots.
Brader had to settle for a share of second place after carding a four-over-par 76 alongside Jack Singh Brar, who matched the winner’s score to leapfrog up the final leaderboard.
Meanwhile, the girls’ event went almost to the wire as Alice Hewson won a two-day battle with childhood friend Samantha Fuller in front of a 100-strong gallery on the final green, with Sophie Keech and Ellie Goodall back in third.
The two junior winners will now tee it up alongside Paul McGinley, the 2014 European Ryder Cup captain, at next year’s BMW Championship Pro-Am at Wentworth.
Lappin was one of 12 boys and nine girls to take part in the competition on Quinta do Lago’s iconic South Course as they competed for the chance to succeed 2012 champions Matthew Fitzpatrick, winner of this year’s US Amateur Championship, and Emily Taylor.
Previous winners have included the likes of the US Open champion Justin Rose and stars of the men’s and ladies’ tours in Europe, Oliver Fisher, Melissa Reid and Carly Booth, while McGinley took time out from his preparations for next year’s event at Gleneagles to greet the finalists in Portugal.
Located just 15 minutes from Faro airport, the resort offers residents and guests an unparalleled location benefiting from a year-round temperate climate, a variety of lifestyle pursuits and a strong sense of community.
Since its inception, Quinta do Lago has been at the forefront of golf in the Algarve with three 18-hole championship courses – Quinta do Lago North and South courses and Laranjal – matched by outstanding practice facilities at the Paul McGinley Academy and the new TaylorMade Fitting Center, which gives golfers the chance to enjoy the ultimate club-fitting experience by providing them with the tools and techniques used on the professional Tours.
Away from the fairways, the resort’s extensive leisure facilities guarantee there is plenty to keep everyone occupied, with tennis, cycling, watersports and horse riding just some of the activities available.
Quinta do Lago’s stunning location by the beach offers the perfect place to relax and unwind while the resort’s wide array of restaurants, both formal and informal, take advantage of the fresh Mediterranean produce for which the resort has become famous..
211 Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park) 72 70 69
214 Jack Singh Brar (Brockenhurst Manor) 73 72 69, Nathan Brader (Portugal) 68 70 76
216 Bradley Moore (Kedlestone Park) 75 71 70, Jamie Li (Bath) 69 75 72,
218 Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden) 73 71 74,
221 Arrun Singh-Brar (Brockenhurst Manor) 71 77 73
224 Scott Bryan (Wentworth) 75 71 78
229 Joshua Bristow (Etchinghill) 82 74 73, Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park) 79 75 75
232 Ben Dunlop (Redbourn) 78 78 76
239 Daniel Leigh 80 77 82
224 Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted) 76 73 75
226 Samantha Fuller (Roehampton) 76 75 75
235 Ellie Goodall (Selby) 80 79 76, Sophie Keech (Lyme Regis) 82 75 78
238 Mollie Lawrence (Rochester & Cobham) 78 76 84
240 Lauren Horsford (Wimbledon Park) 81 78 81
251 Danielle Ker (The Roxburghe) 82 85 84
257 Roanne Tomlinson (Haydock Park) 87 85 85
261 Lily Downs (Romanby) 90 81 90.