Up-and-coming Swedish star Maia Samuelsson’s decision to use Quinta do Lago as a training base is paying full dividends after winning on the US Women’s Collegiate Golf Tour for the first time in her burgeoning career.
At the age of 17, the Jacksonville University freshman was the youngest player taking part at this month’s Kiawah Island Classic – the largest tournament on the women’s college calendar which featured 264 competitors from 53 teams.
But Samuelsson, who trains at Quinta do Lago in Portugal alongside the resort’s director of golf coaching Jose Ferreira when she’s back in Europe, made light of her tender years as a magnificent course-record round of 66 earned her victory at Kiawah Island in South Carolina – venue of the 1991 Ryder Cup.
With rounds of 74, 69 and 66, the Swedish under-18 international broke a number of records. Her final round of six-under-par was her best-ever, while her winning score of seven-under was the lowest in the history of the 54-hole event.
In addition, she recorded the most number of birdies in 18 holes, with eight in her final round, while she re-wrote many of the previous individual records for the women’s golf team at Jacksonville University.
Samuelsson’s phenomenal iron play was the secret to her record-breaking final round and she said: “I have never hit my irons so close to the pin during one round. All my birdie putts were within three metres, and four were within one metre.”
Samuelsson was most recently at Quinta do Lago in December when, as well as doing an internship with Ferreira and taking advantage of the resort’s world-class facilities, she finished second in the Quinta do Lago Junior Open behind rising Portuguese star Sara Gouveia.
Ferreira said: “Maia Is a very committed player with a great work ethic and huge potential. I would define her as a very athletic player, very developed technically with a great touch and, above all, mentally strong! I have no doubt that she has the profile of a top player and hope to see her succeed professionally very soon.”
Located just 15 minutes away from Faro airport, Quinta do Lago – shortlisted to be named as ‘Europe’s Best Golf Venue’ at the 2020 World Golf Awards – is the perfect choice for a sporting break and boasts a combination of first-class golf and lifestyle facilities.
As well as three renowned golf courses – the North, South and Laranjal – and outstanding practice facilities including Europe’s only Paul McGinley Golf Academy, guests can stay in shape at The Campus, a world-class sports hub designed for professionals and amateurs alike to keep fit.
Complementing the 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 recently-opened Dano’s Sports Bar & Restaurant, and accommodation at the recently-acquired boutique The Magnolia Hotel.