Lăng Cô Town, Hue, Vietnam: Chinese Taipei’s Chen Ting-yu will take aim at another slice of golfing history when he headlines the field at this week’s 13th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.
Less than four months after posting a stunning victory in the Faldo Series Europe Grand Final, the 17-year-old left-hander finds himself in the spotlight at the award-winning, Sir Nick Faldo-designed Laguna Golf Lăng Cô layout in Central Vietnam.
At the venue where he won the Boys’ Under-16 category last year, Chen is seeking to become the first male from his country to claim overall honours in the Asia Grand Final.
To be contested in five age and gender categories from March 20-22, The R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking event will feature some 70 talented juniors from more than 20 countries, including winners from the 22nd Faldo Series Europe Grand Final and the second Faldo Series United States Grand Final.
Sir Nick, Founder of the Faldo Series, said: “Ting-yu played some outstanding golf to win our Europe Grand Final. It would be a wonderful achievement if he’s able to follow that up by winning here in Vietnam.
“I’m pleased that we have such an exceptional field gathered at Laguna Golf Lăng Cô for what promises to be another exciting week … and an important step in the development of these talented young golfers.
“The Faldo Series was one of the first initiatives I set up towards the end of my playing career. I’m so proud of how it’s grown and evolved to become one of the stand-out events for junior golfers.”
Since his success at Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club last November, Chen has spent time working on his game during a winter training break in the Thai capital of Bangkok and competed in the PGA Tour Series-China’s Second Global Qualifying Tournament in southern China at the start of the month.
Among those likely to pose a threat to him in Vietnam are the Czech Republic’s Petr Hruby, winner of the Boys’ Under-18 title at the Faldo Series United States Grand Final, Ireland’s Paul Murphy, Toby Bishop of Wales, Thai Weerawish Narkprachar, Japan’s Genki Otani and Indians Aryan Roopa Anand and Keshav Mishra.
Meanwhile, a year after Japan’s Suzuka Yamaguchi wrote her name into golf’s history books as the first female winner of the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final’s overall title, a handful of highly-rated prospects will be out to emulate her, led by Chinese-Taipei’s Hsin Chiao-chang, England’s Emily Brennan, winner of the Girls’ Under-21 category at the Faldo Series Europe Grand Final, and Indian Pranavi Urs, fresh from her appearance in the Major Champions Invitational at Bella Collina in America, an event that is the brainchild of Sir Nick.
As well as receiving the Faldo Series Asia trophy, the overall Boys’ winner at Laguna Golf Lăng Cô will be granted an exemption into an Asian Tour event. The Girls’ winner will be given a start in a Ladies European Tour event. Both will also earn themselves a trip to compete in the 23rd Faldo Series Europe Grand Final.
Of the Laguna Golf Lăng Cô venue, Sir Nick said: “This is the third year in succession that we’ve brought the Faldo Asia Series Grand Final to Vietnam and Laguna Golf Lăng Cô, a course I visit often and am most proud of designing.
“Our hosts at Laguna Lăng Cô are continuing to contribute to growing opportunity through golf and developing tomorrow’s champions. My thanks to them and also to The R&A, European Tour, Asian Tour, PGA Tour and the PGA of America who support us every day to grow the game of golf around the world.”
The 2018-19 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 and Thailand, championships were staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.