Shenzhen, China: Arjun Prasad fired a breathtaking closing six-under-par 66 to claim a remarkable come-from-behind victory in the 10th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.
Four shots off the pace heading into the final round, the 17-year-old Indian produced a near-flawless performance over the Faldo Course at Mission Hills Dongguan.
“It’s been an amazing week – one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” said Prasad, who posted a 54-hole total of 10-under 206 in the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking event.
That was two shots ahead of Thailand’s overnight leader Atiruj Winaicharoenchai who signed off with an even-par 72. Japan’s Nasa Hataoka carded a 70 and ended three strokes further back in third. She had the consolation of topping the Girls’ Under-16 division and finishing as the leading female overall.
“My thanks to Nick Faldo for all his support and encouragement. I was awestruck to meet him and to see him hit shots during the clinics. That was really inspiring,” added Prasad, who is the third Indian to win the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, following in the footsteps of Rashid Khan and Abhijit Chadha.
Six-time Major champion Faldo said: “Arjun’s victory is a fitting finale to our 10th anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final. It was an engrossing contest between him and Atiruj and this certainly ranks as one of the most exciting and dramatic final rounds we’ve seen since we launched the Series here at Mission Hills in 2007.”
In the Girls’ Under-21 category, victory went to American Kaitlyn Papp, a three-time Rolex Junior All-American who was joint second in last September’s Faldo Series Grand Final at Sporting Club Berlin.
Fourth overall at Mission Hills, the Boys’ Under-21 winner was England’s Jack Yule, who also won that segment at the Faldo Series Grand Final in Berlin.
In the Boys’ Under-18 it was Hong Kong’s Leon D’Souza who emerged triumphant, seeing off the challenge of Japan’s Ibuki Yoshida.
The Mission Hills Trophy for the leading mainland Chinese player was presented to Liu Ziwei by Mission Hills Vice Chairman Tenniel Chu. Liu finished equal 14th overall and joint fifth in the Boys’ Under-18 category.
As well as receiving the Faldo Series Asia trophy, Prasad will be granted an exemption into an Asian Tour event, while Hataoka will be given a start in a Ladies European Tour event.
Both have also earned themselves a trip to compete in this year’s Faldo Series Europe Grand Final.
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 stretched over 11 months and was made up of 21 events in 17 countries including, for the first time, Australia.
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