Kathmandu, Nepal: A return trip to Mission Hills China is the rich incentive for Arun Tamang as he aims to retain his crown in the fourth edition of the Faldo Series Nepal Championship.
Tamang heads to the Gokarana Forest Resort determined to stamp his class and underline his status as the number one amateur in Nepal.
As well as setting his sights on a successful title defence, Tamang is anxious to secure a place in the 10th anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final next March and to improve on his 15th place finish in the Boys’ Under-18 category at Mission Hills this year.
Furthermore, 18-year-old Tamang knows that victory on home territory next week will be the ideal tonic ahead of his appearance in next month’s Asia Pacific Amateur Championship.
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “I was impressed by Arun’s ambition and potential during the ninth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final and I wish him well as he attempts to defend his title at Gokarna Forest Resort.
“It’s been uplifting to see the progress that has been made by Nepalese players in the three years since we launched the Faldo Series Nepal Championship.
“It would be wonderful one day to be able to crown a home-grown Nepalese as the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final champion.”
Fresh from a one-week training camp supported by The R&A and Gokarna Forest Resort, hopes are high that Tamang can produce the goods over the next month.
Nepal Golf Association General Secretary Tashi Ghale said: “I think Arun has improved technically after the training and is ready for the Faldo Series Nepal Championship and Asian Championship.”
The 10th leg of the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia season, the Nepal event will showcase the brightest young golfing talent from the South Asian nation that is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by China and to the south, east and west by India.
In another sign of the progress in junior golf in the country, the Faldo Series Nepal Championship will, for the first time, be contested over 54 holes, ensuring it will be recognised as part of the World Amateur Golf Ranking system.
Although he is not likely to find himself in contention, 11-year-old Binod Tamang will also be a focus of attention.
Standing barely four-feet tall and weighing in at less than 35 kilograms, Binod confounded the odds by qualifying for last year’s Faldo Series Nepal Championship.
Playing with a set of clubs donated by The R&A and attired in apparel also provided by the Scotland-based organisation, Binod went on to finish eighth out of 12 at Gokarna Forest Resort – a performance he is looking to improve upon this year.
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.