Ryu reigns supreme at Faldo Series Korea Championship
Seoul, South Korea (November 12): Continuing her imperious run of form, Ryu Hae-ran raced to a wire-to-wire victory in the inaugural Faldo Series Korea Championship.
Following a near-faultless opening round 67 at the recently-opened Hyundai Sollago Country Club, the 15-year-old national women’s squad member never looked likely to relinquish her advantage.
Adding further sub-round scores of 69 and 71, Ryu completed the 14th leg of the record-breaking 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia season with a 54-hole aggregate of nine-under-par 207.
Despite Ryu’s dominance, there were a handful of other impressive displays, not least from Yun Gyung-sik. He battled back well after a first-round 74 and made up five strokes on the champion over the closing 36 holes.
Yun eventually ended two shots behind Ryu but had the consolation of topping the standings in the Boys’ Under-16 section. As one of the age group winners he has qualified for the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Central Vietnam, in March, 2017.
Also flying the flag for Korea alongside Ryu and Yun will be Oh Se-young (Boys’ Under-21 winner), Park Hyung-wook (Boys’ Under-18) and Uhm Kyu-won (Girls’ Under-21).
Six-time Major champion Faldo, founder of the Faldo Series, said: “As we saw at the Hyundai Sollago Country Club, the depth of talent among Korean golfers is remarkable and we hope the Faldo Series Korea Championship will provide another opportunity for the country’s rising stars to showcase their talent.
“Congratulations to all of the age group winners. As expected, the general standard of play was exceptionally high and I’m sure we’ll see the Korean players challenging for the title at the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.”
For Ryu, who was presented with her trophy by Faldo Series Director Matthew Faldo, her triumph was just the latest accomplished performance to add to her resume.
Among other numerous achievements are victory in last year’s Evian Championship Junior Cup while she was the leading amateur in this year’s Korea Women's Open on the Korea LPGA Tour and also qualified for July’s US Women’s Open Championship. Last month, Ryu tied for sixth at the World Junior Girls Championship in Canada.
Park Ju-ik, Tournament Director for the Faldo Series Korea Championship, said: “It is good for junior golf in our country that we have added the Faldo Series Korea Championship to our calendar.
“That we had a field of more than 75 is a good start and we look forward seeing the tournament expand and grow in the years to come.”
Adding a further dimension to the week was the attendance of Keith Wood, Sir Nick Faldo’s personal golf coach. During his time at the tournament, Wood worked with a number of the players on the range.
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 will be 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.
Faldo Series Korea Championship, Leading Final-Round Scores
222 – Oh Se-young (77-70-75)
223 – Seo Jun-guu (72-76-75)
240 – Lee Won-gyung (79-85-76)
213 – Park Hyung-wook (71-67-75)
214 – Jung Hyeok (73-71-70)
215 – Nam Hyun-joon (74-71-70)
216 – Jung Suk-won (73-70-73)
209 – Yun Gyung-sik (74-66-69)
211 – Lee Eun-ho (75-68-68)
213 – Kim Yui-seop (73-72-68)
214 – Uhm Kyu-won (72-71-71)
216 – Moon Ji-eun (72-73-71)
218 – Lee So-mi (75-74-69)
207 – Ryu Hae-ran (67-69-71)
216 – Kang Jeong-hyeon (73-69-74)
218 – Kim Ga-young (74-71-73)