BEN Schmidt shot an opening round 68 to take a three-shot lead in the Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championship in Portugal.
And the competitors were stunned last night when the man himself made an unannounced appearance at Quinta do Lago before imparting his invaluable, world-class advice.
Rose will be back at the Algarve resort today to watch Schmidt, the 17-year-old from Rotherham Golf Club, continue his challenge. Nearest challenger is Kent’s Jacob Kelso.
On a day when the elements swung from drizzle to blazing sunshine, Schmidt looked in complete control on Quinta do Lago's North Course.
On the 10th, he drove his ball behind a tree before ambling up and saying: "Perfect, eh?" From 116 yards — two yards to the tree — he conjured a lob wedge to 12 feet and holed for a three.
"You have to putt well here and I putted really well," said Schmidt. "Being in the lead is something to embrace, although I don't really think about it too much."
Also in the final three-ball will be Hugh Adams, who is in a tie for third on level par alongside Devon's Craig Passmore. It was a notable effort, considering that the Worcestershire player is the youngest in the boys' field at 14.
Schmidt, the world number eight, has already won the Brabazon Trophy and Carris Trophy this year.
Located just 15 minutes away from Faro airport, Quinta do Lago is renowned among Europe's elite golf, sports and family destinations.
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.
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
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