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Kinnear of England eyes historic victory in China

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12 March 2014

12 March 2014, Shenzhen, China: Paul Kinnear of England will take a two shot lead into the final round of the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final. 20-year-old Kinnear from Lancashire goes into tomorrow’s final round at Mission Hills Golf Club bidding to become the first European to be crowned Faldo Series Asia Champion.

Kinnear carded a second round 71 on the Faldo Course to reach seven-under par for the tournament. Two shots behind is Japan’s Mikumu Horikawa who posted a three-under par 69, the joint best score of the day.

Zachary Bauchou from the USA and Pauline Del Rosario of the Philippines lie in third place on three-under par, four shots back from the leader. Local boy Bai Zheng-Kai from Guangdong is on level par and leads the charge for the Mission Hills Trophy, awarded to the top-finisher from mainland China.

81 golfers from 19 countries have joined Sir Nick Faldo at Mission Hills in Shenzhen for the eighth Asia Grand Final.  The multinational field is competing over three rounds for the title of Faldo Series Asia Champion, awarded to the player with the lowest gross score, regardless of age or gender.

With competitors aged 12 to 21 divided into five age-categories – three for boys and two for girls – the category winners will each receive a trophy and an exemption into the 18th Europe Grand Final later this year.  The Mission Hills Trophy winner will also receive an invitation to play in the 2014 Europe Grand Final if he or she is not already exempt.

The leading boy and girl overall at the World Amateur Golf Ranking event will be invited to play in a professional Tour event.

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 is 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:

Boys’ Under-21:

137 – Paul Kinnear (ENG) 66-71

139 – Mikumu Horikawa (JPN) 70-69

150 – Syed Saqib Ahmed (IND) 75-75

Boys’ Under-18:

141 – Zachary Bauchou (USA) 69-72

143 – Marc Ong (SIN) 70-73

147 – Simon Zach (CZE) 71-76

Boys’ Under-16:

144 – Bai Zheng-Kai (CHN) 73-71

145 – Shota Seki (JPN) 74-71

150 – Ye Wo-Cheng (CHN) 75-75

Girls’ Under-21:

152 – Zhu Kai-Lin (CHN) 76-76

153 – Shina Kanazawa (JPN) 76-77

154 – Wang Mei-Xing (CHN) 75-79, Nur Durriyah Damian (MAL) 78-76

Girls’ Under-16:

141 – Pauline Del Rosario (PHI) 72-69

145 – Minami Hiruta (JPN) 72-73

146 – Princess Mary Superal (PHI) 72-74

Click here for live scores and results during 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.