Co-leaders from Singapore and Taiwan at six under going into final round
14 March 2013, Shenzhen, China: Marc Ong from Singapore is tied at the top with overnight leader Cheng Ssu-Chia after day two of the seventh Faldo Series Asia Grand Final. 15-year-old Cheng from Chinese Taipei goes into tomorrow’s final round at Mission Hills Golf Club bidding to become the first girl to be crowned Faldo Series Champion.
17-year-old Ong from Singapore carded a level-par round of 72 on the Faldo Course to reach six under par and catch Cheng who bogeyed the last for a 73. Two shots behind the co-leaders are sixteen-year-olds Luo Xue-Wen from China and defending Faldo Series Europe Champion Jack Singh-Brar of England.
The largest-ever field for an Asia Grand Final finished the day at a long-game clinic with Sir Nick Faldo. 83 golfers from 17 countries are at Mission Hills to compete for the 2013 title.
Cheng from Taoyuan County is bidding to go one better than her compatriot and current ladies world number one Tseng Yani by not only claiming the girls’ title but by becoming the first female winner of a Faldo Series Grand Final.
Luo from Hainan is leading 16 Faldo Series competitors who also qualify to win the Mission Hills Trophy, awarded to the highest-placed Chinese golfer and won last year by Guangzhou’s Guan Tianlang. 14-year-old Guan was at Mission Hills this week to receive a Faldo Series Special Achievement Award from Faldo and spend time with the three-time Masters winner ahead of his debut at Augusta National next month.
Singh-Brar is hoping to become only the second person to win the Europe and Asia titles since Masamichi Ito of Japan in 2010. Ito won his third crown at Mission Hills last year before turning professional.
Golfers aged 12 to 22 are competing over three rounds for the World Amateur Golf Ranking event. Off the course they are spending time with the six-time Major Champion, his personal coach Keith Wood and experts from TrackMan.
With the field at Mission Hills divided into five age-categories, three boys and two girls will each receive a trophy and an exemption into the seventeenth Europe Grand Final later this year. The leading boy and girl will also be invited to play in a professional Tour event and the title of Faldo Series Asia Champion will go to the player with the lowest gross score, regardless of age or gender.
Local school children are also attending during the week to enjoy clinics with Faldo and watch the competitors in action, part of a joint drive with Mission Hills to help grow golf at the grass-roots level.
Established in 1996, 40 Faldo Series tournaments now take place in 30 countries worldwide with more than 7,000 golfers participating each year. Past winners include current world number ones Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.
In September 2013, Faldo will begin taking students at a full-time residential academy for education and golf development in America. The first ever Faldo Series Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona is also home to the Faldo Series USA and marks the next significant step in the programme’s history.
The 2012/2013 Faldo Series Asia schedule featured a record 18 tournaments in 15 countries, including four in mainland China and others in The Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Malaysia, Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand.
The seventh Faldo Series Asia Grand Final is supported by major partners ISPS, Mission Hills and The R&A. It is endorsed by the Asian Tour, the Asia Pacific Golf Federation and the Guangdong Golf Association.
Leading round two scores:
141 – Shohei Hasegawa (JPN) 66-75
142 – Fahmi Reza (INA) 72-70
143 – Robert Busher (ENG) 74-69
138 – Marc Ong (SIN) 66-72
141 – Ewan Scott (SCO) 69-72, Joshua Gibbons (ENG) 67-74
140 – Jack Singh-Brar (ENG) 70-70, Xue-Wen Luo (CHN) 72-68
142 – Sen Cao (CHN) 71-71
148 – Chi Wang (TPE) 72-76, Marvi Monsalve (PHI) 77-71
153 – Zi-Yi Wang (CHN) 74-79, Isabella Leung (HKG) 76-77, Mai Arai (JPN) 77-76
138 – Ssu-Chia Cheng (TPE) 65-73
144 – Clare Legaspi (PHI) 72-72
148 – Yu-Hsin Chang (TPE) 72-76
Click here for tee times, live scores and results during the seventh Faldo Series Asia Grand Final on March 13-15. You can also follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faldoseries and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/faldoseries.