Christchurch, New Zealand: Tom Parker will be seeking to deliver a fitting finale to a memorable year in his golfing development when he tees-off in next week’s Faldo Series New Zealand Championship, presented by the Canterbury Golf Development Trust.
Having excelled at home and abroad in recent months, the 16-year-old Christchurch Boys’ High student is expected to challenge for top honours in the 18th leg of the record-breaking 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia season.
Parker set the tone for what has been a banner season by topping the standings in the Boys’ Under-16 category at the 2015-16 Faldo Series New Zealand Championship at Clearwater Golf Club.
And he returns to the same venue in the final month of 2016 boosted by a series of outstanding performances, highlighted by a joint sixth place finish in the 10th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills China in March and a notable victory at the South Pacific Junior Open in Noumea in August.
Thanks to those efforts, Parker has been elevated into the New Zealand Development Squad and also was a key member of the Canterbury team that participated at last week’s Toro Inter-Provincials, New Zealand’s premier men’s team event.
Provincial team players from Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Otago are also in the 59-strong Faldo Series New Zealand Championship starting field in which the average handicap index is 2.7.
As such, Parker will need to be at his best to secure his spot in the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Central Vietnam, in March, 2017.
Among his main rivals in the boys’ segment will be Hiroki Miya, winner of the South Island Under-19 Championship, and Shaun Campbell, the top qualifier in the New Zealand Amateur Championship who went on to make the semi-finals of the match play section.
Meanwhile, Clearwater Golf Club member Oscar Cadenhead, the inaugural Faldo Series New Zealand Championship winner in 2014, will be making his final appearance in the event before leaving the junior ranks. The same applies to Matthew McLean, who edged out Cadenhead in a play-off in the Boys’ Under-21 category at the second Faldo Series New Zealand Championship.
An exceptionally powerful contingent of girls is spearheaded by 14-year-old Juliana Hung, who is aiming to make a successful defence of the overall title she won so emphatically in the 2015-16 Faldo Series New Zealand Championship.
Hung is joined by Amelia Garvey and Hillary O’Connor, her team-mates in the Canterbury Inter-Provincial Women’s Team.
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.
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