Pattaya, Thailand: Lisa Zhang and Mark Nam Kangwol marked the resumption of the Faldo Series Asia (FSA) with winning performances that saw them gain global recognition on The R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).
For the first time, all three legs of the 2020-21 FSA’s innovative qualifying process in Thailand have been extended to 54 holes, thus ensuring valuable WAGR points are allocated to the leading players.
Zhang and Nam made the most of the opportunity, topping the standings in the Girls’ Under-16 and Boys’ Under-16 categories respectively at Pattana Golf Resort in the event that was hosted by Wellington College International School Bangkok.
“Congratulations to Lisa and Mark on their successes – and on taking their first steps on the World Amateur Golf Ranking ladder,” said six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo, Founder of the Faldo Series.
“After eight months of inactivity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I’m delighted that the Faldo Series Asia is under way again and being played in a safe and secure environment for players and officials,” added Sir Nick.
Nam was a model of consistency, signing for rounds of 72, 70 and 71 to finish six strokes clear of fellow American School of Bangkok representative Gusto Veeratecha among the boys.
The battle for victory among the girls proved closer. Following rounds of 73 and 72, Zhang took a two-shot lead over her Bangkok Pattana International School team-mate Tina Kong into the final round. A run of four consecutive bogeys on the front nine did not help Kong’s cause, but she finished strongly to match Zhang’s closing 76 and claim sole possession of second place.
In addition to the standalone Faldo Series Thailand Championship, this is the second year in succession that a series of three qualifying events are being staged across the country, in conjunction with international schools in Thailand.
Combined performances of players in those tournaments in Pattaya, Hua Hin and Phuket will be reflected in an Order of Merit from which five age-group category winners will progress to the 15th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick at Vietnam’s Laguna Lăng Cô in March, 2021.
Hosted by Shrewsbury International School Bangkok Riverside, Banyan Golf Club will stage the second leg in Hua Hin (December 4-6). The series will conclude at Laguna Golf Phuket from January 29-31, 2021, hosted by the British International School Phuket.
As well as individual age group categories, international schools teams that are part of the existing International Schools’ Golf Tour (ISGT) are able to win team Order of Merit points towards the ISGT season.
The trio of Faldo Series Thailand Championship qualifiers are being run by Bangkok-based Fore Management Group, a company that specialises in organising junior tournaments.
The 2020-21 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation.