Spooner fifth in Portugal

Billy Spoomer.
Billy Spoomer.

England junior Billy Spooner finished in fifth place at the Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championship at Quinta do Lago in Portugal.

But the 17-year-old, from Wyberton, believes that he could have finished even higher had his putting gone the way he wanted.

Billy had high hopes of victory at the event in the Algarve, but it was England teammate Jamie Li who 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.

“I did okay during the week but I could have done so much more,” he said.

“I just couldn’t putt and they just wouldn’t go in.

“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.”

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.

Spooner - who is coached by Boston Golf Club pro Nick Hiom - 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.

This year’s tournament featured a record number of entries with an estimated 18,750 juniors participating, with the number of boys taking part increasing by 95 per cent and the numbers of girls going up by 215 per cent.

Qualifying began in the spring with hundreds of qualifying rounds being staged at clubs across the UK over the summer.

Voted Best New Golf Course in Europe at the 2014 World Golf Awards, Quinta do Lago’s new North Course is part of a major investment and has recently been included as a new entry in Golf World’s benchmark Top 100 Courses in Continental Europe.