Taipei, Chinese Taipei: Huang Kuan-hsun is bracing himself for a multi-pronged female challenge at next week’s Faldo Series Chinese Taipei Championship.
Despite his billing as the top-ranked male player in the field for the sixth leg of the 2017-18 Faldo Series Asia season, Huang knows he won’t be labelled as pre-tournament favourite for the 54-hole event at Tsai Hsing Elite Club.
Instead, that honour will be bestowed upon a talented quintet of Chinese Taipei girls, all of whom boast impressive curriculum vitaes and are steadily progressing up the standings in the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Not only will Lu Hsin-yu, An Ho-yu, Chang Tzu-yi, Lin Jie-en and Tseng Tsai-ching be vying for victory, but also the chance to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Tseng Ya-ni, a past Faldo Series champion who went on to achieve multi Major successes in the professional game.
Six-time Major championship winner Sir Nick Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “Ya-ni was our first Faldo Series International trophy winner in Hong Kong in 2005. She truly stood out from the crowd with her golfing ability … and has been a wonderful role model for the new generation.”
Girls from Chinese Taipei have fared exceptionally well in the Faldo Series Asia Championship over the past decade with Tsai Pei-ying, Hsieh Yu-ling (twice), Lin Tzu-chi, Liu Yi-chen, Cheng Ssu-chia and Hung Jo-hua all having had their names inscribed on the Overall Girls’ trophy.
National team stalwart Hung was the leading lady in this year’s Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, but is unable to participate in the Chinese Taipei Championship as she’ll be flying the flag for her country in the World Junior Girls Championship in Canada.
Nonetheless, a trip to Al Ain Equestrian Shooting and Golf Club in Abu Dhabi in November for the 21st Faldo Series Grand Final is inked in on her busy travel schedule.
Her absence at the Tsai Hsing Elite Club on the outskirts of Taipei next week will allow a handful of her national squad team-mates to claim the spotlight.
Lu Hsin-yu will be full of confidence after an excellent summer that saw her perform creditably at the US Girls Championship and the IMG Academy Junior World Championship. She also posted a tied fourth finish in the Kendra Tires TLPGA Open a fortnight ago, part of the LPGA of Taiwan Tour.
An Ho-yu is also still on a high following her triumph at the FCG Callaway World Championship in America and a runner-up finish in the Annika Invitational at Mission Hills China, an event she won as a 12-year-old in 2016.
Meanwhile, Chang Tzu-yi, Lin Jie-en and Tseng Tsai-ching are also expected to be in the mix as they bid to secure the places on offer to Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Vietnam, in March, 2018 for the 12th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick.
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.