Singapore: While former Faldo Series champion Rory McIlroy’s attention is firmly focused on Augusta National, the Far East’s elite amateur golfers are bracing themselves for the launch of the milestone 10th anniversary of the Faldo Series Asia.
As McIlroy bids to become just the sixth player in history to complete the Grand Slam of all four Major championships, golfers from no fewer than 17 Asia Pacific nations will be seeking to follow in the very same footsteps as the trail-blazing Northern Irishman.
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo, founder of the Faldo Series, said: “What Rory has achieved should act as a huge incentive to every single player who competes in the Faldo Series Asia over the next 11 months.
“I’m sure the fact that playing in the Faldo Series helped to set Rory on the path to stardom will not be lost on young players around the world who dream of one day reaching the pinnacle of the sport.
“Rory is just one of dozens of boys and girls who have been able to use the Faldo Series as a platform along the road to a successful professional golfing career.
“Over the coming months it will be exciting to see which Asian players emerge as potential stars of the future.”
Spanning 11 months, the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia season will include a minimum of 21 events in 17 countries including, for the first time, Australia.
Winners of age-group categories at each of the national championships will earn themselves places in the 10th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Faldo at Mission Hills China in March, 2016.
After teeing-off in Chinese-Taipei next week, the Series will wind its way around the region with a visit to Sydney’s Castle Hill Country Club in mid-December among the highlights.
“Australia is one of the world’s great golfing countries and I’m thrilled that the Faldo Series will be staging an event there,” said Britain’s greatest ever golfer.
Venue for numerous top-level professional and amateur events, Castle Hill will play host to the Faldo Series Australia Championship for three years.
Faldo said: “Last year, New Zealand and Bangladesh joined the Faldo Series. The addition of Australia further underlines my commitment to developing junior golf around the world.
“It is our hope that the Faldo Series Australia Championship will provide a platform for identifying and nurturing the next generation of world-class Australian golfers.”
David Geraghty, Castle Hill’s President, said: “At Castle Hill Country Club we have a great interest in securing the future of our game through the development of junior golf. We are, therefore, thrilled to be partnering Sir Nick Faldo, one of the legends of the game, by hosting the Faldo Series Australia Championship.
“We are immensely proud to have been chosen by Sir Nick Faldo to host the Faldo Series Australia Championship – the first tournament to be held in Australia bearing the name of Sir Nick Faldo.”
Supported by The R&A and Mission Hills and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia campaign will comprise three events in China, two in India and one each in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Dominic Wall, The R&A’s Director, Asia-Pacific, said: “The R&A has supported the Faldo Series for the past 10 years and we are delighted to see the Series now being played in Australia.
“The Faldo Series has provided opportunities for many young golfers across the Asian region to test their skills at national level and internationally in the Asian Final held in China and the European Final. These opportunities will now be available to Australian junior golfers which will no doubt help these golfers gain valuable international experience.”