Faldo Series Asia glory for Japan’s Horikawa
13 March 2014, Shenzhen, China: Mikumu Horikawa of Japan stormed to victory in the eighth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in China. The 21-year-old from Kanagawa fired a superb final round 68 on the Faldo Course to win by three shots and follow in the footsteps of compatriot Masamichi Ito who won the title in 2010 and 2012.
“The time is now for the Faldo Series, Mikumu’s come from behind victory caps an amazing week which has seen us crown champions from around the world,” said Sir Nick Faldo. Today’s winners will travel on to America later this year where they will be vying to emulate the success of Korean American Megan Khang, who became our first girl champion at The Greenbrier last October. It’s an international story and I’m proud of that.”
“This victory means so much to me as it was my third final and last chance to win the Faldo Series,” said an emotional Mikumu on receiving his trophy from Faldo. “I picked up a putting tip from Sir Nick yesterday which really made a difference to my game today.”
Horikawa opened with three birdies in his first four holes to stun overnight leader Paul Kinnear. He went on to reach nine-under par and finish three ahead of England’s Kinnear who closed with a 73 to finish second.
Pauline Del Rosario held off a strong challenge from fellow Filipino Princess Mary Superal to win the Girls’ Division. The 15-year-old qualifies for the 2014 Faldo Series Grand Final along with Horikawa, Boys’ Under-18 winner Marc Ong of Singapore and Wang Mei-Xing (Girls Under-21) from China.
Bai Zheng-Kai from Guangdong made it a double success for China by winning the Boys Under-16 division. The 16-year-old also claimed the Mission Hills Trophy as the highest-placed finisher from mainland China.
81 golfers from 19 countries joined Sir Nick Faldo at Mission Hills in Shenzhen for the eighth Asia Grand Final. Competitors aged 12 to 21 played over three rounds on the Faldo Course for the World Amateur Golf Ranking event. Off the course they spent time with the six-time Major Champion, his personal coach Keith Wood and experts from TrackMan.
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 Major Champions Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.
In September 2014, 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 2013/2014 Faldo Series Asia schedule featured a record 19 tournaments in 15 countries, including four in mainland China, two in India and others in The Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand.
The eighth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final was supported by ISPS Handa, Mission Hills, The R&A, Audemars Piguet, CBS, Golf Channel, MasterCard, Tricor, PGA Tour and PGA of America. It is endorsed by the Asian Tour, the Asia Pacific Golf Federation and the Guangdong Golf Association.
Leading final scores:
207 – Mikumu Horikawa (JPN) 70-69-68
210 – Paul Kinnear (ENG) 66-71-73
218 – Syed Saqib Ahmed (IND) 75-75-68
213 – Marc Ong (SIN) 70-73-70
215 – Zachary Bauchou (USA) 69-71-75
218 – Simon Zach (CZE) 71-76-71
216 – Bai Zheng-Kai (CHN) 73-71-72
220 – Shota Seki (JPN) 74-71-75
221 – Jakub Hrinda (SK) 74-78-69, Ye Wo-Cheng (CHN) 75-75-71
229 - Wang Mei-Xing (CHN) 75-79-75, Nur Durriyah Damian (MAL) 78-76-75, Shina Kanazawa (JPN) 76-77-76, Zhu Kai-Lin (CHN) 76-76-77
216 – Pauline Del Rosario (PHI) 72-69-75
217 – Princess Mary Superal (PHI) 72-74-71
222 – Minami Hiruta (JPN) 72-73-77
Click here for full results from the eighth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final on March 11-13. You can also follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faldoseries and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/faldoseries.