Sixteen-year-old Ben Bolton was crowned champion of the Faldo Series Junior Tour Europe Grand Final in the UAE on Thursday November 23rd.

The Wolverhampton youngster  recorded rounds of 65, 70 and a final-day 66 for a total of 201 (-9) across the 54-hole competition, which he won by a convincing seven shots at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club.

With 15 birdies across the three days, the talented teenager’s last round comprised 33 on the front-nine with two birdies, as well as 33 on the back-nine. Despite recording bogeys on 10 and 11, the Enville golfer battled back to birdie four holes on the spin from 13 to 17 as he fended off Vietnam’s Nguyen Anh Minh – the only other player in the field to shoot below par on -2.

England golf legend Nick Faldo was on hand to present Bolton with the trophy – and the youngster recalls the moment.

He said: “Nick was obviously towering over me but I felt quite honoured. We had a bit of an interview and then he was asking about the blue shaft in my putter – he seemed wowed by that!”

The victory was Bolton’s third in 2023, after winning Portugal’s Edge Golf Championship in February and the European Young Masters in Slovakia in July.

He admitted: “I’d played the tournament in the past two years and won the Under 16s category but lost out in a play-off last year, so I’d always wanted to win it overall and to do that feels great.

“I played solid golf, I didn’t strike it great and there weren’t any wow moments, but I managed to hole a lot of clutch putts.

“With the other wins, a 3rd-place finish at the McGregor Trophy shooting -9 in July, and a 5th-place finish at the Justin Rose (Telegraph Junior Golf) Championship, it’s been a pretty good year!”

The 16-year-old, who works as a greenkeeper at his home course Enville Golf Club, admitted there wasn’t much of a celebration after his win. He added: “I flew back on Friday and headed to Woodhall Spa for an England camp, then I was back at work at Enville on Monday morning!”

Bolton was recently named in the England Boys’ Squad for the 2023/24 season and revealed his delight at being picked.

He continued: “It meant a lot because it opens lots of doors. I’ve pretty much worked towards this for the last 12 years. I noticed the England Boys’ Squad when I was quite young and I said to myself that I was going to be one of them one day.

“I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. I have a big tournament coming up – the Junior Orange Bowl in the USA – and then it’s all about competing at events through the England Boys’ set-up.”