The Quinta do Lago Junior Open is well on the way to establishing itself as the most important event in the European winter junior golfing calendar after aspiring stars from all over the continent headed to the Portuguese resort to compete in the annual  tournament.

Around 100 of Europe’s most talented youngsters from the ages of eight to 20 gathered at the resort under sunny skies and in temperatures of 18ᵒ degrees to take part in the third edition of the R & A-approved world amateur golf ranking event over the festive period.

Taking place on Quinta do Lago’s acclaimed Laranjal championship course and played in a strokeplay  and Stableford formats, the 54-hole tournament attracted its strongest ever field with players from 11 countries including Malaysia, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain, the UK and the home nation competing.

Heading the line-up were leading Portuguese juniors Sara Gouveia and Calvin Holmes, Sofia Sa – the top ladies amateur in Portugal in 2019 – and Swedish under-18 star Maia Samuelson.

Gouveia underlined her star credentials by beating Samuelson and Sa to take the girls’ under-21 title, while there was a thrilling finish in the boys’ under-21 event with Malaysia’s Justin Chan defeating three-time Portuguese junior champion Holmes in a sudden-death play-off after the pair had finished tied after 54 holes of strokeplay.

Up-and-coming Scottish junior Jamie Mann, Spain’s Kostka Horno and English youngster Charlie Croker – who plays at Epping Golf Club – took top honours in the boys’ under -16, under-14 and under-12  categories.

Portugal’s Francisco Reis and Maria Afonso look to be two players to watch in the future after winning the boys’ and girls’ under-10 titles – which was played with nine holes of Stableford per day over two days – while there was an added treat for all the players with European Tour star Ricardo Gouveia on hand throughout the event to offer expert advice, as well as taking part in a golf challenge with the juniors.

Situated just 15 minutes from Faro airport in Portugal’s famous Algarve region, Quinta do Lago is dedicated to developing young golfers and, as well as staging the Quinta do Lago Junior Open – which will be held again at the end of this year from December 28-30, 2020 – and McGinley Junior Cup, is also home to the Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championship.

The resort has been at the forefront of Europe’s elite golf, sports and family destinations for nearly five decades and, with a combination of world-class golf and lifestyle facilities, is the perfect choice for a sporting break.

As well as three 18-hole championship golf courses – the North, South and Laranjal – and outstanding practice facilities, guests can stay in shape at the state-of-the-art performance centre The Campus, a world-class sports hub designed for professionals and amateurs alike to keep fit.

Complementing the golf facilities is a choice of 13 first-class bars and restaurants that deliver a range of delicious world cuisines – including the acclaimed Bovino Steakhouse and Dano’s Sports Bar & Restaurant – with accommodation on offer at the resort’s recently-acquired boutique The Magnolia Hotel.

For more information about Quinta do Lago’s junior academies and to book, phone +351 289 390 700 or email [email protected] .

www.quintadolago.com