Taipei, Chinese Taipei: Chen Ching-tzu underlined her reputation as one of the region’s most promising female golfing prospects with a thrilling victory in the Faldo Series Chinese Taipei Championship.
Belying her tender years, the 13-year-old snared a final-hole birdie to claim a one-stroke success from Wu Yi-ching in the 54-hole event at Sunrise Golf and Country Club.
As overall champion, Chen has booked herself a place in the ninth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Mission Hills Golf Club in China next March.
She will be joined in the World Amateur Golf Ranking event by four of her compatriots – Liu Yung-hua (Boys’ Under-21 winner); Samson Tsai (Boys’ Under-16 winner); Lawrence Ting (Boys’ Under-16 runner-up) and Wu Yi-ching, who successfully defended her title in the Girls’ Under-21 segment.
Six-time Major championship winner Faldo said: “Chinese Taipei has a fine tradition for producing world-class golfers and it’s encouraging to see so many good scores being posted at Sunrise.
“I look forward to welcoming Ching-tzu and her fellow qualifiers from Chinese Taipei to the Asia Grand Final.”
In sunny and breezy conditions at Sunrise, it was Chen who took centre stage in the second event of the 2014-15 Faldo Series Asia season.
A member of the Chinese Taipei national development squad, Chen followed up a steady opening one-over-par 73 with a one-under 71. That enabled her to take a two-stroke lead over Wu into the final round.
On the last day, Chen was a model of consistency, dropping just one shot in an outward even-par 36. However, it was Wu who moved to the top of the leaderboard after a stretch of three birdies in four holes only for a double-bogey seven at the long ninth to hand the initiative back to her younger opponent.
Thanks to her fifth birdie of the day, Wu drew level again at the short 16th. Once more, though, Chen responded brilliantly, a four at the long 18th securing a well-deserved win – and a trip to China.
Supported by The R&A, ISPS and Mission Hills and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2014-15 Faldo Series Asia campaign will stretch over 11 months and be made up of a minimum of 20 championships.
Recognised as the only global amateur series for boys and girls, the Faldo Series was established in 1996, expanding to Asia in 2006.
Faldo Series Chinese Taipei Championship, leading final scores: Boys’ Under-21: 224 – Liu Yung-hua (79-75-70). 228 – Ian Chiang (80-76-72). 232 – Lai Chia-i (78-81-73). Boys’ Under 16: 228 – Samson Tsai (75-74-79). 230 – Lawrence Ting (74-81-75). 232 – Chan Yu-wei (79-79-74). Girls’ Under-21: 218 – Wu Yi-ching (78-68-72). 226 – Tsai Hsin-en (74-79-73). 231 – Chen Yi-hsuan (77-75-79). Girls’ Under-16: 217 – Chen Ching-tzu (73-71-73). 224 – Lin Jie-en (79-72-72). 229 – Tu Chun-ting (77-78-74).