Joy for Juliana at Faldo Series New Zealand Championship
Christchurch, New Zealand (January 20): Watch out Lydia Ko, there’s a new kid on the block! Announcing her arrival on the international stage in spectacular fashion, fresh-faced 13-year-old Juliana Hung scored a runaway victory in the second Faldo Series New Zealand Championship, presented by the Canterbury Golf Development Trust.
A member of the Canterbury team which won the 2015 Toro Inter-Provincial title, New Zealand premier women’s team golf tournament, Hung is already being touted as a rising star.
And her reputation was further enhanced as she recorded an emphatic success in the 19th and penultimate leg of the record-breaking 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia season at Clearwater Golf Club.
One shot clear at the top of the leaderboard after rounds of 71 and 73, Hung belied her tender years as she comfortably repelled the challenges of her senior rivals with a mature closing 71 as weather conditions improved after the players had battled cool, damp conditions on the first two days.
With a 54-hole total of one-under-par 215, Hung finished five shots ahead of her closest rivals and earned herself a trip to Mission Hills China from March 2-4 to compete in the 10th Anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo.
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “Congratulations to Juliana. To string together three excellent rounds at such a young age is a wonderful effort.
“Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen Lydia Ko put women’s golf in New Zealand on the map with her dramatic rise from prodigious amateur to multiple LPGA Tour winner and now world number one. If Juliana continues to progress, then Lydia may soon be looking over shoulder!
“I very much look forward to welcoming Juliana to Mission Hills and to watching her pit her skills against many of the region’s most accomplished junior golfers.”
Making up a four-strong New Zealand contingent for the Grand Final will be Matt McLean [Boys’ Under-21 winner]; Jake Meenhorst [Boys’ Under-19 winner] and Tom Parker [Boys’ Under-16 winner].
In a dramatic Under-21 finale, McLean holed a 45-foot birdie putt at the first hole of a sudden-death play-off to edge out defending Faldo Series New Zealand Championship winner Oscar Cadenhead.
Maryanne Marlow, Chair of the Canterbury Golf Development Trust, presented the age-group winners with their prizes.
“Our extreme gratitude is extended to the Canterbury Golf Development Trust for their support this year and their continued support in 2017,” said Andrew Bell, General Manager at Clearwater Golf Club, which will host next month’s ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open.
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 has included 20 events in 17 countries.
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 champions who have held the world number one ranking.
Faldo Series New Zealand Championship, leading final scores:
220 – Matthew McLean* (75-75-70); Oscar Cadenhead (73-72-75)
221 – Lee Chang-gi (75-77-69)
220 – Jake Meenhorst (75-70-75)
231 – Andrew Drummond (76-76-79)
233 – Kim Se-young (77-74-82)
223 – Tom Parker (74-75-74)
224 – Fullepp Markopolo (75-72-77)
227 – Tommy Liu (77-77-73)
215 – Juliana Hung (71-73-71)
224 – Amelia Garvey (74-72-78)
226 – Rose Zheng (74-73-79)
*McLean won sudden-death play-off at first extra hole
For full scores and results click here.