Dongguan, China: Liu Ziwei produced a spectacular final-round birdie blitz to claim victory in the Faldo Series China Championship.
Two strokes off the pace heading into the final round over the Greg Norman Course at Mission Hills Golf Club, Liu found his range with a sparkling performance that left his rivals trailing in his wake.
Having parred the first six holes, 17-year-old Liu made his move with birdies at seven and nine to turn in two-under 34. Picking up further shots at 13, 15 and 16, the two-handicapper pulled clear at the top of the leaderboard and was able to coast home.
Despite back-to-back bogeys to finish his round, Liu signed for a closing two-under-par 70. That gave him a 54-hole aggregate of one-over 217.
As well as topping the standings in the Boys’ Under-18 category, Liu captured the overall title, ending three strokes clear of joint runners-up Mimi Ho and Chen Yilong, the overnight leader.
He will now progress to the 10th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Mission Hills China next March.
Joining him for that milestone occasion will be four other age group winners – Liang Ce (Boys’ Under-21); Chen Yilong (Boys’ Under-16); Hong Kong’s Mimi Ho (Girls’ Under-21) and Ji Yifan (Girls’ Under-16).
Despite the late withdrawal of defending champion Ye Wocheng, the Faldo Series China Championship was also notable for the fact that an Under-13 category attracted no fewer than 30 participants with just two shots separating the leading three players.
Six-time Major champion Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “I was delighted to hear that the event was so well supported, especially in the younger age groups. That is immensely encouraging for the future.”
Tenniel Chu, Mission Hills’ Deputy Chairman, congratulated the Faldo Series Asia on reaching its 10th year.
He said: “We are always honoured to host this prestigious tournament. It is recognised that Mission Hills places great emphasis on junior golf and the Faldo Series Asia fulfils our vision to grow the junior game in China and around the region.
“I hope the Faldo Series Asia continues to go from strength-to-strength and that we at Mission Hills will carry on working closely with Sir Nick Faldo to make it even bigger and better in the years to come.”
Results from the Faldo Series China Championship, the fourth leg of the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia season, counted for the World Amateur Golf Ranking and the China Golf Association Junior Ranking system.
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.