The England Boys’ Squad member, from Rotherham Golf Club, became the youngest-ever winner of the Brabazon Trophy at Alwoodley last month and tops the boys’ gross leaderboard on nine-under-par, with Scottish teenager Hannah Darling setting the pace in the girls’ gross event.
Ben Schmidt, 16, leads the way thanks to a six-under-par first round of 66 in this year’s Fairhaven Trophy – nine strokes below the Competition Standard Scratch (CSS) score for qualifying events – putting him two shots ahead of Ireland’s Aaron Marshall and three clear of Rhys Wallace, from Handsworth GC in Birmingham.
Rosie Belsham also impressed in the girls’ event at the Fairhaven Trophy with a first round of 70 – five-under the CSS – putting her on her way to an incredible 20-stroke victory in the 72-hole event to leave her one shot behind Darling on the girls’ gross leaderboard. Patience Rhodes, from Burnham and Berrow GC in Somerset, sits one shot further back in third.
Regarded as the unofficial ‘major’ of junior golf, the Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championship will see 24 finalists – 12 boys and 12 girls – compete over 54 holes at Portugal’s famous Quinta do Lago resort on November 13, 14 and 15 for the opportunity to join an illustrious list of previous winners.
World number four Rose won the prestigious event back in 1997, while the roll of honour also includes the likes of Ryder Cup colleagues Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick, as well as Ladies European Tour stars Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Melissa Reid.
Rose said: “It’s great to be involved in the championship and to have the opportunity to encourage and grow junior grass-roots golf. I can’t wait to see some of this year’s talent and good luck to everyone taking part!”
The Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championship is open to any juniors aged under-18 at midnight on January 1, 2019, and the finals – which will be televised by Sky Sports – will be returning to Quinta do Lago for the fifth time in the last six years.