Bangkok, Thailand: The 2019-20 Faldo Series Asia season will break new ground with the inclusion of an innovative qualifying process in Thailand.
In addition to the standalone Faldo Series Thailand Championship, a series of three other qualifying events will be staged across the country, in conjunction with international schools in Thailand.
Combined performances of players in those tournaments in Phuket, Hua Hin and Pattaya will be reflected in an Order of Merit from which five age-group category winners will progress to the 14th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Vietnam’s Laguna Lăng Cô in March, 2020.
The 36-hole opening leg of the Thailand series will take place at Laguna Golf Phuket on September 28-29 while Banyan Golf Club will host the second leg in Hua Hin (December 6-7). Both venues are Golf Course Facility Members of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Dates and venue for the concluding leg in Pattaya will be confirmed shortly.
The trio of Faldo Series Thailand Championship qualifiers will be run by Golf Development Asia (GDA) and Fore Management Group, both Bangkok-based companies that specialise in organising junior tournaments.
Each of the three events will allocate 100 spots to international schools in Thailand and 40 for other entries. International schools teams that are part of the existing International Schools’ Golf Tour (ISGT) will also be able to win team Order of Merit points towards the ISGT season.
Six-time Major champion Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “Thailand has been a mainstay of the Faldo Series Asia since our launch. As such, I’m delighted that we’ll be further expanding our reach in the country this season.
“I know that there’s a wealth of young golfing talent in Thailand. My hope is that our three new events that make up the Order of Merit will serve to further raise the profile of golf in the country – and be instrumental in identifying a new generation of golfing stars.”
Fredrik Edmunds, Golf Development Asia’s Founder and CEO, said: “At GDA, we have one simple goal – increase golf participation and enthusiasm within junior golfers. Through GDA we strive to provide juniors with opportunities to develop transferable life skills and values that can be learnt through golf. We wish to inspire a passion for sport that will continue to give joy and health throughout students’ lives.”
Chris Watson, Managing Director, Fore Management Group, added: “Our team at Fore has experience ranging from high level PGA and Asian Tour events, right through to junior and grass-roots charity events. We very much look forward to contributing to the continued success of the Faldo Series Asia.”
The 2019-20 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 the Thailand qualifiers, there are two events in China and championships in Australia, Bangladesh, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam over the next 12 months.