Garner targets Faldo Series Australia Championship success
Sydney, Australia (December 16): The entry form of Jordan Garner was one of the first to land on the desk of organisers of the second Faldo Series Australia Championship.
As winner of the Boys’ Under-18 category in last year’s inaugural event at Sydney’s Castle Hill Country Club, Garner earned himself a starting spot in the 10th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills China.
There he performed admirably, finishing in seventh place and thriving in the atmosphere of a top-level junior tournament, hosted by six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo.
Both the Australian qualifier and the Grand Final left an indelible imprint in Garner’s psyche.
Garner said: “Last year’s Faldo Series Australia Championship at Castle Hill was one of the best organised tournaments I played all year … and by far the most rewarding. Then the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final was such an awesome experience! Meeting Sir Nick himself was a jaw-dropping experience in itself.
“The whole atmosphere of the tournament and the organisation of the Faldo Series Asia was outstanding. I’ve never felt so welcomed and excited to play a tournament. It really felt like I was a professional for that week. I highly recommend anyone to work as hard as possible to get to that level because it’s well worth it.”
Given his enthusiasm for the tournament, it’s no surprise that the 17-year-old wishes to savour the feeling once more by qualifying for the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Central Vietnam, in March, 2017.
Now boasting a handicap index of +0.7, he will not be short of confidence, having enjoyed an outstanding year during which he has claimed a handful of victories as well as being appointed captain of the New South Wales All Schools Team and the Australian All Schools Team.
Among Garner’s main rivals for the overall title are likely to be Daniel Gale and Bella Kil.
Both are aiming to improve on their third place finishes last year, Gale in the Boys’ Under-21 segment and Kil in the Girls’ Under-16 category.
Fourth in the Riversdale Cup and a member of the victorious New South Wales Men’s State Team, 20-year-old Gale has gained further invaluable experience with appearances in a couple of recent professional tournaments.
Kil, meanwhile, is on a high after an impressive sequence of results, highlighted by wins in the Castle Hills Country Club Girls’ Junior Championship, the Brett Ogle Junior Masters and the Bonville Champions Trophy at the start of December.
Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “On their first appearance in the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final this year, the Australian contingent added a new dimension with their enthusiasm – on and off the course.
“I look forward to seeing the Faldo Series Australia Championship develop into one of the linchpins of the Faldo Series and to welcoming another strong Australian representation to Vietnam three months from now.”
Since its inception in 1950, Castle Hill Country Club has been a frequent tournament venue. As well as holding the 2013 New South Wales (NSW) Open, the club has staged two Australian PGA Championships, three NSW PGA Championships, four Canon Challenges and the 2013 Men’s and Women’s NSW Medal.
Supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months.
As well as two events in China, India and Thailand, championships are being staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
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, both multiple Major winners.