Thailand's Wiangchanok wins final Faldo Series qualifier
21 February 2012: Sittipong Wiangchanok fired a final-round 70 at the Blue Sapphire Golf and Resort in Kanchanaburi to claim the Faldo Series Thailand Championship and a place in next month’s Faldo Series Asia Grand Final in China. Past Girls’ Champion Thidapa Suwannapura also attended the tournament to share her experiences of turning professional with the players.
In the last event on the Asia schedule before the sixth Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club on March 14-16, Bangkok-based Wiangchanok (76-70) birdied the final hole of a brilliant four-under-par back nine to win by one over Tawan Phongphun (77-70) and Seattapong Tsailexthm (74-73).
Suwannapura, winner of the Faldo Series Asia girls’ title in 2010, spent time with the 95 competitors during the tournament. The Thai touring professional also conducted a clinic for local children, part of a drive to create access to the game for a younger audience.
Wiangchanok, 17, will be joined at Mission Hills in Shenzhen by four other age-group winners from the fourth Thailand Championship: Mokarin Huaykrathok (Girls’ Under-21) from Lopburi and Thanadol Songkoranee (Boys’ Under-16), Wad Phawchimplee (Girls’ Under-16) and Wanatsakrit Silraparangson (Boys’ Under-21), all from Bangkok. 20-year-old Silraparangson survived a five-hole sudden-death play-off to secure his spot.
The 2011/2012 Faldo Series Asia schedule featured 17 tournaments in 13 different countries including five in mainland China plus others in The Philippines, Vietnam, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Brunei, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand. Six-time Major Champion Sir Nick Faldo will host the Grand Final, a World Amateur Golf Ranking event.
The Faldo Series Asia is supported by major partners ISPS, Mission Hills and The R&A, official golf wear partner UFL and official suppliers TaylorMade and Tricor. It is endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Federation (APGC).
Established in 1996, 37 Faldo Series tournaments now take place in 27 countries worldwide with more than 5,000 golfers participating each year. Past winners include Major Champions Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.
Leading final scores:
151 – Wanatsakrit Silraparangson (77-74); Kasidis Leabkrut (76-75)
158 – Pathompong Saisakoldeth (77-81)
146 – Sittipong Wiangchanok (76-70)
147 – Tawan Phongphun (77-70); Seattapong Tsailexthm (74-73)
148 – Thanadol Songkoranee (72-76)
149 – Tisjaras Kovitpakornkul (74-75); Smithti Teeratrakul (73-76)
148 – Mokarin Huaykrathok (73-75)
152 – Saraporn Chamchoi (73-79)
153 – Wad Phawchimplee (76-77)
156 – Pannapa Polnamin (75-81)