Ho Chih Minh City, Vietnam: An extra spring will be in the step of participants when they line up in this week’s ninth Faldo Series Vietnam Championship.
For the first time, the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking-counting event, which acts as the sixth leg of the record-breaking 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia campaign, is being held at The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip, a Golf Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Being staged in conjunction with the first Vietnam Junior Open, the event has attracted a field of 40 of the country’s foremost male and female amateurs.
Additional incentive for age group winners is that the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final is scheduled to take place on ‘home soil’ at Laguna Lang Co in Danang, Vietnam, in March, 2017.
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo, who will host the Grand Final, said: “Vietnam is one of the world’s emerging golfing nations. New courses are being built and more men, women and children are being encouraged to take up the game by the Vietnam Golf Association.
“I’m delighted that the Faldo Series Vietnam Championship is playing a part in the country’s golfing development and am very much looking forward to spending time at Laguna Lang Co for the Grand Final early next year.”
Much of the attention at The Bluffs will focus on Anthony Truong Chi Quan and Nguyen Thao My.
Playing at his home course, Truong, Vietnam’s top-rated amateur, competed with distinction alongside the professionals at last year’s inaugural Ho Tram Open and will set out as favourite for the overall title at this week’s 54-hole event.
Strong challenges are expected from Nguyen Phuong Toan and Truong Quan, both of whom participated in the 10th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at China’s Mission Hills.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Thao My will be bidding to overshadow the boys by claiming a third successive Faldo Series Vietnam Championship crown.
In what is being dubbed a ‘Mini Vietnam Amateur Ladies Championship’, all of the country’s top female players are in the starting field, including national team members Hanako Kawasaki and Tran Chieu Duong. Kawasaki and Duong are both past winners of the Girls’ Under-16 category.
Supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months.
As well as two events in China, India and Thailand, championships will be staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
Seoul, Korea: Oh Sang-jun, a prominent figure in golf in South Korea for more than two decades, has been appointed as a Senior Advisor to the Asian Golf Industry Federation.