Faldo reflects on 10th Anniversary celebration for Asia Series
Shenzhen, China: Many of the region’s brightest golfing prospects will lock horns in next week’s 10th anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.
One of the most prestigious tournaments on Asia’s amateur golfing calendar, the 54-hole R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking event will once more be staged over the acclaimed Nick Faldo-designed Faldo Course at Mission Hills China.
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo, the tournament host and mastermind behind the Series, said: “There’s always a tremendous sense of excitement and anticipation heading into the Grand Final – and more so this year because it’s our 10th anniversary.
“That’s a notable milestone for the Faldo Series Asia and one of which I am immensely proud.
“It gives me tremendous satisfaction to see the Faldo Series Asia continuing to grow and prosper with more tournaments in more countries – a sign of the healthy state of elite junior golf in the Asia Pacific.”
The previous nine Faldo Series Asia Grand Finals have produced seven overall champions representing four countries.
Indian Rashid Khan and Japan’s Masamichi Ito are both two-time winners who are now making their way in the professional game.
They are joined on the roll of honour by Thai Nakarin Ratanakul, winner of the inaugural Asia Grand Final in 2007, Indian Abhijit Chadha , Luo Xuewen, who was crowned the first mainland Chinese winner in 2013, and Japan’s Mikumu Horikawa  and Yuki Kamasu .
The only two-time female champion is Hsieh Yu-lin while fellow Chinese Taipei players Lin Tzu-Chi , Liu Yi-chen  and Ssu Chia-cheng  also have their names inscribed on the trophy.
So, too, do Thai Thidapa Suwannapura , now plying her trade on the LPGA Tour, Japan’s Mai Arai  and Pauline Del Rosario  and Princess Mary Superal  both of the Philippines,
Faldo said: “In the nine-year period since we inaugurated the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, we’ve been privileged to witness many outstanding individuals who have gone on to achieve fame and fortune in the professional game – most notably Tseng Ya-ni among the girls and Rashid Khan among the boys.
“Their stories should act as an inspiration to all those who are lining up at Mission Hills this week as we seek to identify future world number ones and Major championship winners.
“The Grand Final is a wonderful stage for these boys and girls to show their mettle under pressure in a high-quality tournament on a high-quality golf course.
“For me, the chance to see at close quarters these golfers is one of the highlights of the year. The opportunity for me to contribute to setting them on the path to their professional goals is immensely rewarding.
“As I reflect on the first decade of the Faldo Series Asia, I’d like also to offer my heartfelt thanks to The R&A and Mission Hills for their kind sponsorship, to the region’s national golf associations and federations for their support, to all the venues that have staged tournaments and to each and every one of the girls and boys who have participated.”
Spanning 11 months, the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia season included 21 events in 17 countries including, for the first time, Australia.
Winners of age-group categories at each of the national championships earned themselves places in the 10th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.
Also in the field for the Grand Final are the champions from the Faldo Series in Europe – Japan’s Yumi Kudo, England’s Jack Yule and American Kaitlyn Papp.
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 multiple Major champions Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy.