Teenage star Rafiah Banday will be aiming to end the season in style and follow in the footsteps of some of the biggest names in golf next week when she takes part in the 2019 Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championship final at Quinta do Lago in Portugal.
Rose, who is sponsoring the tournament for the first time, forms part of an illustrious roll call of previous winners which also includes Ryder Cup colleagues Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick, and Ladies European Tour stars Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Melissa Reid and Carly Booth.
England Girls international Banday, a member at Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club, will be one of 12 girls and 12 boys bidding to add their names to the prestigious honours board when the event – regarded as junior golf’s ‘unofficial Major’ – is held on Quinta do Lago’s famous fairways from November 13-15.
The 16-year-old, who plays off scratch, will arrive in the Algarve with high hopes of challenging for victory after claiming her place in the elite line-up with an impressive round of four-under-par on her way to a top-10 finish at the English U16 Girls Championship.
Now in its fourth decade, the prestigious 54-hole stroke play competition – which will be held on Quinta do Lago’s highly-acclaimed North Course – will be returning to the resort for the fifth time in the last six years, with this year’s finalists coming from all parts of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Heading the line-up will be 2019 Brabazon Trophy winner Ben Schmidt – who succeeded Sandy Lyle as the youngest ever winner of the event – 2017 winner champion and England Boys’ teammate Max Hopkins and England Girls star Charlotte Heath, who finished top of qualifying and who will be making her third successive appearance in the final.
Joining them in Portugal will be fellow England internationals Rosie Belsham and Mimi Rhodes, whose younger sister Patience has also qualified, while up-and-coming Northamptonshire star Roisin Scanlon is set to become the competition’s youngest ever finalist at the age of just 12.
Three-time Portuguese junior age group champion Calvin Holmes will lead the home challenge while Hugh Adams will arrive in the Algarve as the top qualifier thanks to a round of 10-under-par on his way to victory at the Scottish U14 Boys’ Championship.
Carrying Scotland’s hopes will be rising Fife star Evanna Hynd, Aberdeen teenager Carmen Griffiths and Edinburgh’s Cameron Adam, while Wales and Northern Ireland will be represented by Darcey Harry and Aaron Marshall respectively.
The Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championship, which is supported by the R&A, European Tour Foundation and England Golf, is open to any juniors aged under-18 at midnight on January 1, 2019, with the final set to be televised by Sky Sports later this year.
Located just 15 minutes away from Faro airport, Quinta do Lago is renowned among Europe’s elite golf, sports and family destinations 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 Quinta do Lago’s 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 recently-opened Dano’s Sports Bar & Restaurant – with accommodation on offer at the resort’s recently-acquired boutique The Magnolia Hotel.
For more details on the Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championship and for the 2019 final latest scores, go to www.telegraph.co.uk/juniorgolf