Shanghai, China: Much-travelled Rebecca Tsai delivered a delightful virtuoso performance to score a runaway victory in the eighth Faldo Series Shanghai Championship.
Basking in the hot conditions, the Chinese Taipei-born teenager, whose family currently live in Shanghai, was in inspired form as she proved too strong for her mainland China hosts.
An accomplished opening four-under-par 68 put the 18-year-old firmly in the driving seat at Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club.
Showing no signs off complacency, Tsai added a second-round 70, which included four birdies to go alongside the six she snared on day one.
With a 36-hole aggregate of six-under 138, Tsai ended eight strokes clear of Shi Ziyi and Bao Zheng, the leading local lights who had a thrilling head-to-head duel in the Boys’ Under-18 category.
Although playing under the Chinese Taipei banner, Tsai has also spent spells in Los Angeles, Otago in New Zealand and Shanghai.
As the overall champion, Tsai has earned a return trip to China, where she will compete in the 10th anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Mission Hills China next March.
Also there will be Hong Jie [Boys’ Under-21 champion], Shi Ziyi [Boys’ Under-18 champion], Wang Zhidong [Boys’ Under-16 champion] and Tsai Ching-tseng [Girls’ Under-16 champion].
Shi booked his spot when he edged out Bao on the first hole of a sudden-death play-off after the duo had returned identical totals of 146.
Kudos, too, went to Feng Kai. At eight years of age he was the youngest player in the field and one of the youngest ever to line up in the Faldo Series.
At the prize-giving ceremony, Tao Yongjie, President of The Suzhou Golf Association, praised the host club for its promotion of junior golf and its contribution to developing the game.
Results from the Faldo Series Shanghai 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.