Prasad prepared for title defence at Faldo Series India Boys Championship
Pune, India (November 18): International representative Arjun Prasad has his sights set on an early birthday celebration in next week’s Faldo Series India Boys Championship.
Prasad, who will turn 18 at the start of next month, is anxious to mount a successful title defence in the 16th leg of the record-breaking 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia season – and give himself a shot at creating a slice of golfing history.
Upstaging some of Asia’s brightest young golfers, Prasad thrust himself into the limelight with a thrilling victory in the 10th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills in China in March.
It was a triumph that has opened many doors for the talented teenager, including appearances in the Hero Indian Open, the men’s World Amateur Team Championship for the Eisenhower Trophy in Mexico and last month’s 20th Faldo Series Grand Final in England, where he tied for 16th.
Having enjoyed a taste of the high life over the past 12 months, Prasad wants to maintain progress in his upwardly mobile career by booking his ticket to The R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking-counting 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Central Vietnam, in March, 2017.
Six-time Major champion Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “Arjun’s enthusiasm is infectious. I enjoyed spending some time with him during our Grand Final in England and I’m pleased to see him working hard at his game.
“His performance at Mission Hills earlier this year was exceptional and underlined the talent in the junior game in India.”
Only the third Indian to win the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final after Rashid Khan and Abhijit Chadha, Prasad’s latest target is to try to become the first player to successfully retain the regional title.
Before that, though, Prasad’s attentions are firmly focused on the Oxford Golf and Country Club in Pune, the second largest city in the Western Indian State of Maharashtra, after Mumbai.
There he will have to negotiate his way through the 72-hole Faldo Series India Boys’ Championship, an event he won in a sudden-death play-off last year.
All age group winners will earn themselves places at the Grand Final in Vietnam, where they will be joined by left-handed Diksha Dagar, who triumphed for the second year in succession in the Faldo Series India Girls’ Championship, Tvesa Malik (Girls’ Under-21 champion) and Amrita Anand (Girls’ Under-18 champion).
Faldo said: “My thanks to the Indian Golf Union for once more organising separate Faldo Series events for the girls and the boys, illustrating the strength and depth of elite amateur golf in the country.
“India remains the only country on the Faldo Series Asia schedule that does that and also stages the boys’ event over four rounds of stroke play. It is setting an example that we hope other countries will follow in the years ahead.”
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 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.