Nadeem retains Faldo Series Pakistan Championship crown
Lahore, Pakistan (September 9): Nadeem Aslam confirmed a shift in power in Pakistani junior golf by successfully retaining his title in the Faldo Series Pakistan Championship.
For the second year in succession, Nadeem proved too strong for his rivals at the Defence Raya Golf & Country Club in the eighth leg of the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia season.
With back-to-back rounds of one-under-par 71, Nadeem sauntered to a six-stroke victory in the fifth edition of the event that ranks among the highlights on the annual Pakistani golfing calendar.
Hopes of a thrilling head-to-head duel between Nadeem and Mubariz Ahmad failed to materialise.
Mubariz, who had the distinction of emerging triumphant on the first three occasions the tournament was staged, withdrew following an untimely bout of food poisoning having opened with an 84.
Five shots clear of the field after day one, Nadeem extended his advantage as he toured the front nine in two-under 34 in the second round.
From there he coasted home to take top spot and secure a return trip to Mission Hills China for the 10th anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo next March.
Six-time Major championship winner Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “Nadeem was the leading Pakistani performer at the ninth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final [where he tied for 27th]. I’m now looking forward to welcoming him back to Mission Hills and to seeing how big an improvement he is able to make.”
Also heading to China will be Usman Ali [overall runner-up], Ahmed Baig [Boys’ Under-18 winner], Muhammad Saqib [Boys’ Under-16 winner] and Aania Farooq Syed [Girls’ Under-21 winner].
Usman made sure of second place thanks to a sparkling three-hole spell late in his second round that saw him play holes 15 through 17 in four-under, highlighted by an eagle-two at the 16th.
The closest finish came in the Boys’ Under-16 division where Muhammad Saqib was five shots off the pace in fourth place following an opening 83. But a 77 on day two saw him end level on 160 with Rao Muhammad Haris. Victory was awarded to Muhammad on a countback.
It was the third time that the Faldo Series Pakistan Championship has been played at the Defence Raya Golf & Country Club, which was opened in 2009 and provides one of the toughest golfing challenges in Pakistan with significant elevation changes and water coming into play on 10 holes.
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 will include a minimum of 21 events in 17 countries including, for the first time, Australia.
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, who took his tally of professional Major titles to four with his wins at last year’s Open Championship and US PGA Championship.
Faldo Series Pakistan Championship, leading final scores:
142 – Nadeem Aslam (71-71)
148 – Usman Ali (76-72)
153 – Danish (77-76)
152 – Ahmed Baig (75-77)
156 – Ali Anish Rehman (79-77); Mustafa Ali Ghani (78-78)
160 – Muhammad Saqib (83-77); Rao Muhammad Haris (79-81)
165 – Junaid Irfan (78-87)
165 – Aania Farooq Syed (82-83)
177 – Daniya Eyaz (88-89)
184 – Suneyah Osama (90-94)
For full scores and results from the Faldo Series Pakistan Championship please visit www.faldoseriesasia.info/tic/tmtic.cgi. You can also follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faldoseries and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/faldoseries.