Josh with Sky's David Livingstone
Doncaster’s Josh Berry fired a four under par closing round to become the youngest ever winner of the Junior European Open.
Berry, 13, carded rounds of 74, 76 and 70 over the tough Alcaidesa Links course in San Roque, Spain to win by one shot and in doing so bettered the likes of Justin Rose and Luke Donald who could only finish third in what is recognised as one of the most keenly contested junior golf tournaments in Europe.
The Junior European Open, first staged in 1993 and now in its 26th year, is truly an ‘open’ championship where players who meet the age eligibility can compete regardless of golf ability and during champions’ week five rounds are played with the best three counting.
The tournament, which was supported this year by Sky Sports, has an enviable pedigree, and in 1993 Luke Donald finished 3rd in the finals at Wentworth, a feat emulated the following year by Justin Rose.
In 1995 at Valderrama, multiple European Tour winner and Sky Sports presenter Nick Dougherty was among the finalists, also finishing third. That same year, the Spanish junior team led by 15-year-old Sergio Garcia took on the UK finalists in a Ryder Cup style match.
More recently, the 2008 and 2009 Junior European Open Girls’ champion Bronte Law represented GB & I in the 2012, 2014 & 2016 Curtis Cups.
The 2010 JEO Boys’ champion Max Orrin represented GB & I in the 2013 Walker Cup, and 2008 champion Ben Taylor became the first graduate from the event to win on the Web.com Tour in the US.
But not all future stars make the grade at an early age as Yorkshire’s Danny Willett found out in 2003. The 2016 US Masters champion and this year’s DP World Tour championship winner competed in a JEO regional final but failed to qualify for the Champions’ Week Finals.
Berry said: “What a final day and week that was. I’m so happy to have won the European Junior Open 2018 by shooting a final round of four under. Thanks to the organisers for a memorable time."