Thais to the fore at Faldo Series Cambodia Championship
Siem Reap, Cambodia (June 16): Thongpipat Rattanayanon is the latest young Thai golfer to mark himself down as a star of the future following a breathtaking performance in the fourth edition of the Faldo Series Cambodia Championship.
Firing eight birdies in a second round 66 over the award-winning, Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort course, 14-year-old Thongpipat blew his rivals away, finishing 10 shots clear of his closest pursuer.
With a 36-hole aggregate of six-under 138, Thongpipat was crowned overall champion, following in the footsteps of his compatriot Putt Sridama, winner of the Cambodian event last year.
Thongpipat’s reward for his authoritative display is a ticket to the 10th anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be staged at Mission Hills China next March.
Joining Thongpipat in the field there will be his fellow-Thais Thanaphum Khanchitworakun (Boys’ Under-21 winner) and Jenjira Jinangkul (Girls’ Division winner) and Paolo Barro of the Philippines (Boys’ Under-16 runner-up).
Also heading to China will be Tevy Sareoun, who qualified as the leading Cambodian national.
David Baron, Director of Golf at the Siem Reap venue, said: “Yet again the Faldo Series Cambodia was a great success, showcasing some of the region’s future champions.
“I was very impressed with the way all the players conducted themselves throughout the event and, as always, I was blown away with the ability of some of the youngsters. Anyone shooting 66 at age 14 is a rare talent.
“It’s with thanks to platforms like the Faldo Series Asia that such talent is given the opportunity to shine and take their game to the next level.”
Also proving a success was a grassroots clinic for students of the nearby Family Care Centre, conducted by Alan Martin, the club’s Head Professional.
Baron said: “It’s now our responsibility to further develop grassroots golf in Cambodia and ensure we see more home-grown talent at next year’s event.”
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.
Winners of age-group categories at each of the national championships will earn themselves places in the 10th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick at Mission Hills China next March.
Faldo Series Cambodia Championship, leading final scores:
148 – Thanaphum Khanchitworakul 79-69
154 – Saranyapong Teeranon 77-77
162 – Korapat Dhanvarjor 82-80
138 – Thongpipat Rattanayanon 72-66
152 - Paolo Joaquin Barro 78-74
158 – Ariyawat Juprang 79-79
150 – Jenjira Jinangkul 73-77
152 – Soktaerodh Sean 77-75
153 – Intuon Bischoff 76-77
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.