Haikou, China: An early flurry of birdies set Chinese Taipei’s Chen Ting-yu on the path to victory in the 12th Faldo Series China Championship.
Thanks to a brilliant final-round three-under-par 69 over the award-winning Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Haikou, the left-handed Chen swept to the top of the leaderboard.
With a 54-hole aggregate of one-under 215, the 16-year-old had the distinction of being the only player in the 126-strong field to finish in red figures, signifying a sub-par score.
While top honours went to Chen, he was not the only overseas player to enjoy success in the fourth leg of the 2017-18 Faldo Series Asia season.
Fellow Chinese Taipei representative Chang Hsin-chiao triumphed in the Girls’ 11-16 age group while the Hong Kong duo of Eric Yiu Chun-yin (Boys’ 17-18) and Andrea Au Chor-kiu (Girls’ 17-21) emerged victorious in their respective categories.
Of the six age group segments, only two were won by mainland players – Chen Jingming (Boys’ 19-21) and Wang Zi (Boys’ 11-13).
All six category winners have earned themselves invitations to the 12th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, scheduled to take place at Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Vietnam, in March, 2018.
There, Chen Ting-yu will hope to replicate his stunning start to the final round on the Blackstone Course, a past host to the World Cup of Golf.
Riding a hot putter, Chen reeled off birdies at each of the opening four holes to soar into contention. He went on to reach the turn in three-under 33 and covered the back nine in even-par 36 to post the low round of the week. Upon holing the winning putt he was doused in water by his friends.
In the event that was part of The R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking and also counted towards the China Golf Association (CGA) Junior Ranking System, his closest challengers were Wu Wenxuan and Chen Jingming.
Wu, a 16-year-old from Fujian Province, pushed Chen Ting-yu all the way but ended one stroke off the pace following a closing 71. Sharing second place overall was 20-year-old Chen Jingming. The Nanjing native dominated the Boys’ 19-21 division but saw his hopes of taking top place overall undermined by four bogeys. However, he finished in a blaze of glory, snaring an eagle-three at the final hole to sign off with a 71.
Such was the appeal of the Faldo Series China Championship and the Mission Hills Haikou Resort that the tournament attracted entries from nationals of Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Malaysia, The Netherlands and the United States.
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “Congratulations to Chen Ting-yu and all of the age group winners. Under final-round pressure, to start off with four successive birdies, as Ting-yu did, is an outstanding feat and made him a worthy winner.
“It was particularly encouraging to see such a strong turnout in the youngest age groups, a sure sign of a bright future.”
The 2017-18 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation. The International Junior Golf Academy is a partner of the Faldo Series.
As well as two events in China, India and Thailand, championships are being staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
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