Siem Reap, Cambodia (July 15): Rising Thailand star Putt Sridama lived up to his name and his reputation as he swept to victory in the Faldo Series Cambodia Championship.
Wielding a hot putter, Putt, who turned 16 last week, made light of the humid conditions with a brilliant course record six-under-par 66 over the immaculately-presented Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort layout.
It was a spectacular performance from the talented Thai, who is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his famed compatriots Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat and make his mark in the professional game.
Before that, though, Putt will aim to further impress during the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills next March, under the watchful eye of Sir Nick Faldo.
Six-time Major championship winner Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “To shoot a 66 at the Angkor Golf Resort is a notable achievement, especially for such a young player and in a tournament scenario.
“I look forward to seeing how Putt tackles another of my courses, at Mission Hills early next year.”
Joining Boys’ Under-16 winner and overall champion Putt at the ninth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final will be fellow Thais Watcharasit Trachuentong (Boys’ Under-21 winner), Korapat Dhanvarjor (Boys’ Under-16 runner-up), Kanokwan Yoddamnern (Girls’ Under-18 winner) and Jidapa Phongthanachalitkun (Girls’ Under-18 runner-up).
Joint first-round leaders Kanokwan and Jidapa finished tied after identical rounds of 72 and 71 with the former claiming the Girls’ title on a countback.
One shot off the pace after an opening 73, it was Putt who dominated proceedings on day two, soaring up the leaderboard thanks to a barrage of birdies in the fifth leg of the 2014-15 Faldo Series Asia season, eventually winning by four shots.
There was also plenty to cheer for 19-year-old Sokhamony Thong, Cambodia’s most promising golfing prospect. With a second round 81, Sokhamony improved by six shots on his first-day return and, in so doing, earned himself a place in the Grand Final.
David Baron, Director of Golf at the Siem Reap venue, said: “Sokhamony has carded sub-par rounds before but needs more tournament experience. The FSA Cambodia Championship was a very valuable learning curve. He’s a strong young man who strikes the ball very well. I’m sure his ticket to the Grand Final will push him to fine-tune his game and take him to the next level.”
Meanwhile, in a further effort to grow the game in Cambodia, 20 children from the Build Your Future Today (BFT) organisation attended a grass-roots clinic. Founded by a Khmer Rouge survivor, the aim of the BFT is to improve the lives of locals on a daily basis.
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.
Faldo Series Cambodia Championship, leading final scores: Boys’ Under-21: 150 – Watcharasit Trachuentong (74-76). 151 – Channut Buntavong (76-75). Boys’ Under-16: 139 – Putt Sridama (73-66). 143 – Korapat Dhanvarjor (74-69). Girls’ Under-18: 143 – Kanokwan Yoddamnern (72-71). 143 – Jidapa Phongthanachalitkun (72-71).
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