England junior Billy Spooner admitted a poor putting performance was to blame after he could only finish fifth at the 2015 Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championship at Quinta do Lago in Portugal.
The 17-year-old, who plays at Woodhall Spa, had high hopes of victory preceding the prestigious event in the Algarve but struggled all week on the greens of the resort’s redesigned North Course as England teammate Jamie Li claimed a one-shot victory over John Gough from Stoke Park.
Two rounds of 75 and a level-par 72 left Spooner 11 strokes adrift of the winning score and he struggled to hide his disappointment at the end.
Spooner said: “I did okay during the week but I could have done so much more. I just couldn’t putt and they just wouldn’t go in.
“The organisation of the event was really good and it was a well-run tournament. Everyone had earned their place at the final and that’s what made the field so good.
“I should have won but I really enjoyed it all. I’m happy with how it all went and I am thankful for being a sponsors’ invite.”
Spooner was one of 12 boys and nine girls to take part in the competition, which was hosted by Quinta do Lago for the third year in a row with the action taking place on the resort’s new North Course – one of the most talked-about design projects in Europe in 2014.
Previous winners of the event, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, have included the likes of 2013 US Open champion Justin Rose and stars of the men’s and ladies’ tours in Europe including Matthew Fitzpatrick, Melissa Reid and Carly Booth.