Faldo’s focus takes in St Andrews and Shanghai
Shanghai, China (July 14): The Faldo Series Shanghai Championship will feature prominently in what promises to be an emotional week for Sir Nick Faldo.
While six-time Major champion Sir Nick is making his farewell appearance at the ancestral Home of Golf in the 144th edition of the Open Championship, more than 50 youngsters will be vying for glory in the fifth leg of the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia season.
Faldo, a three-time winner of The Open, said: “Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club and St Andrews are more than 7,000 miles apart. And while I look forward to celebrating all that golf has given me as I cross the storied Swilcan Bridge and the wonderful memories I share with many people, I’ll also be keeping close tabs on the Faldo Series Shanghai Championship.
“The Open and St Andrews will forever hold a significant place in my heart. My fondest moments on my journey with this great sport are woven with pictures and emotions in this setting. It all means a huge amount to me.
“As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Faldo Series Asia, my greatest hope is that when The Open returns to St Andrews in 2020 and 2025 the field will include players from China and around Asia who have progressed via the Faldo Series Asia.
“That would be a major triumph for what we are attempting to achieve through the Faldo Series … and would give me such tremendous personal satisfaction and pride.”
In the spotlight at the eighth edition of the Faldo Series Shanghai Championship is 17-year-old Cao Sen, who has fond memories of the Suzhou Taihhu course.
Last year, Cao finished birdie-eagle to secure a dramatic one-stroke victory. He went on to capture the Mission Hills Trophy as the leading Chinese player at the ninth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.
Meanwhile, 15-year-old Chen Geyi and 12-year-old Zhu Yingzhi will be aiming to enhance their burgeoning reputations.
Julia Zhang, Deputy General Manager at Suzhou Taihu, said: “We are pleased that this is the fourth year that our club has been selected as the venue for the Faldo Series Shanghai Championship.
“Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club is proud of its association with the Faldo Series which helps promote junior golf in China.”
Results from the Faldo Series Shanghai Championship will count for the World Amateur Golf Ranking and the China Golf Association Junior Ranking system.
Supported by The R&A and Mission Hills and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months and will include a minimum of 21 events in 17 countries including, for the first time, Australia.
Recognised as the only global amateur series for boys and girls, the Faldo Series was established in 1996, expanding to Asia in 2006.
Today, 40 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 30-plus countries worldwide, touching more than 7,000 golfers each year. Past winners include Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, who took his tally of professional Major titles to four with his wins at last year’s Open Championship and US PGA Championship.