Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Championship won by Sussex golf ace

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Sussex teenager Morton Bailey has followed in the footsteps of some of golf’s greatest names with a convincing six-shot victory in the 2023 Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Championship at Quinta do Lago in Portugal.

The 17-year-old from West Hove Golf Club led from the start of the 54-hole tournament held last week on the resort's prestigious South Course – a par-72 layout which was recently named Europe’s Best Golf Course and Portugal’s Best Golf Course at the 2023 World Golf Awards.

Sponsored for the fourth time by former winner Justin Rose, 12 girls and 12 boys competed across the three-round tournament from October 30 to November 3.

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Bailey’s success sees the Hove teenager join an exclusive list of past winners of the event including Rose and his fellow European Ryder Cup colleagues Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick, as well as Ladies European Tour stars Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Melissa Reid and Carly Booth.

Morton Bailey and Annabel Peaford | Contributed pictureMorton Bailey and Annabel Peaford | Contributed picture
Morton Bailey and Annabel Peaford | Contributed picture

After hitting the lead early, the Hove teenager never wavered, despite Connor Graham – the Scot who became the Walker Cup’s youngest ever player in September – chasing him until the end.

“I was tense, because playing against someone of Connor’s ability, and the other guys, you know he can just turn it on at any time,” Bailey said after his 69 moved him to seven-under and to a six-shot win over Moseley’s Phillip Krone.

“It only takes a bogey or two to unsettle yourself. But I held strong and this feels awesome.”

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In the girls’ tournament, Annabel Peaford from Surrey made history as she became the youngest ever winner of the event at the age of just 14.

Quinta do Lago has earned a reputation as a leading figure in European golf, with a trio of stunning 18-hole courses – the North Course, South Course and Laranjal – attracting visitors from around the world. The South Course underwent an extensive €7million renovation in 2021 and was crowned Europe’s Best Golf Course at the World Golf Awards last year as the resort celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Away from the courses, Quinta do Lago’s guests can choose from 14 first-class bars and restaurants and stay in the boutique Magnolia hotel. Opened since 2018, Quinta do Lago’s The Campus has quickly become one of Europe’s leading elite performance centres, hosting the Portugal national football team, PSG and the Ireland Rugby Union men’s senior first team squad.

The Algarve is a favourite with tourists for its natural beauty and ideal golfing climate, and the sweeping 2,000-acre resort has now celebrated five decades as one of the region’s most popular destinations.

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