Siem Reap, Cambodia: Thongpipat Rattanayanon is the latest young Thai golfer to mark himself down as a star of the future following a breathtaking performance in the fourth edition of the Faldo Series Cambodia Championship.
Firing eight birdies in a second round 66 over the award-winning, Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort course, 14-year-old Thongpipat blew his rivals away, finishing 10 shots clear of his closest pursuer.
With a 36-hole aggregate of six-under 138, Thongpipat was crowned overall champion, following in the footsteps of his compatriot Putt Sridama, winner of the Cambodian event last year.
Thongpipat’s reward for his authoritative display is a ticket to the 10th anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be staged at Mission Hills China next March.
Joining Thongpipat in the field there will be his fellow-Thais Thanaphum Khanchitworakun (Boys’ Under-21 winner) and Jenjira Jinangkul (Girls’ Division winner) and Paolo Barro of the Philippines (Boys’ Under-16 runner-up).
Also heading to China will be Tevy Sareoun, who qualified as the leading Cambodian national.
David Baron, Director of Golf at the Siem Reap venue which is a Golf Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, said: “Yet again the Faldo Series Cambodia was a great success, showcasing some of the region’s future champions.
“I was very impressed with the way all the players conducted themselves throughout the event and, as always, I was blown away with the ability of some of the youngsters. Anyone shooting 66 at age 14 is a rare talent.
“It’s with thanks to platforms like the Faldo Series Asia that such talent is given the opportunity to shine and take their game to the next level.”
Also proving a success was a grassroots clinic for students of the nearby Family Care Centre, conducted by Alan Martin, the club’s Head Professional.
Baron said: “It’s now our responsibility to further develop grassroots golf in Cambodia and ensure we see more home-grown talent at next year’s event.”
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 stretches over 11 months and will include a minimum of 21 events in 17 countries including, for the first time, Australia.