Yumi Kudo claims Grand Final glory
1 October 2015: Yumi Kudo of Japan claimed victory in a thrilling finale to the nineteenth Faldo Series Grand Final becoming only the second girl to earn the title of overall Series Champion.
Kudo fired rounds of 74, 69 and 70 to win by a single shot with a three under par total. The 16-year-old will take great satisfaction at her ability to keep her cool under the severe pressure of her playing partners Jack Yule from England and American junior Alyaa Abdulghany. At one point a four-way playoff looked a real possibility. The drama unfolded after Kaitlyn Papp of the United States had posted the clubhouse best of two under par to win the Girls’ Under-21 category by a remarkable seven shots. Papp's highlights included a 40-foot putt for birdie.
"I'm very happy to win here in Germany." commented Kudo, "It is special to join last year's Faldo Series Grand Champion Yuki Kamasu and play for Japan. Japanese players have done well in the Grand Finals before and it felt great to continue the record. It's been an amazing week and I'd like to thank Sir Nick for the opportunity"
"Congratulations to Japan and the young winner Yumi Kudo." said Sir Nick Faldo. "She's played brilliant golf on a course that is being considered for hosting international events and Ryder Cup 2022. Japan now holds both the 2015 Faldo Series titles, in Asia and in Europe and are setting a standard. It's pleasing to see these exciting young players developing their game. I also want to thank the sponsors. The R&A, European Tour, Asian Tour, PGA Tour and the PGA of America support us every day to grow the game of golf all around the world."
England's Jack Yule finished as Boys’ Under-21 winner earning an invite into the tenth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final and an invitation to play in a professional tour event. Kudo’s feats have granted her the same privilege.
Alyaa Abdulghany enjoyed a slim one shot advantage at the beginning of day three but fell back as Kudo surged. Abdulghany recovered with aplomb with a birdie run on the back nine to finish second in the Under-16 category, behind Kudo.
The Boys’ Under-18 section was won by John Pak of the United States. Pak’s 71,73 and 74 was sufficient to edge Netherlands' Dario Antonisse on countback. Harry Goddard of England shot 75, 71 and 73 to win the Boys’ Under-16 section by one shot over Nikolai Schaffrath of Germany and Frankie Capan of the U.S. All the category winners can now look forward to the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be held in March 2016.
63 golfers from 18 countries joined Sir Nick Faldo A-ROSA Scharmützelsee in Bad Saarow, Germany for the nineteenth edition of the Faldo Series Grand Final which concluded on October 1.
Competitors aged 12 to 21 contested for the title of Faldo Series Champion over 54 holes on the Faldo course at the renowned A-ROSA Scharmützelsee resort in Bad Saarow, Germany. With the field divided into five age-categories, three boys and two girls each received a trophy and an exemption into the tenth Asia Grand Final in 2016. The leading boy and girl will also be invited to play in a professional Tour event.
Off the course players spent time with Faldo and his personal coach Keith Wood. Juniors from local golf clubs were invited to participate in a clinic with Sir Nick as part of an initiative to help grow golf at the grass roots level.
Leading final scores:
214 - Jack Yule (ENG) 70-72-72
222 - Yuki Kamasu (JPN) 75-77-70, Jan Jr Szmidt (PL) 79-71-72, Patrik Jericha (CZE) 79-70-73
218 - John Pak (USA) 71-73-74, Dario Antonisse (NED) 74-69-75
222 - Stan Kraai (NED) 78-73-71, Chris Handy (ENG) 74-75-73, Herik Machado (BRA) 74-74-74
219 - Harry Goddard (ENG) 75-71-73
220 - Nikolai Schaffrath (GER) 75-74-71, Frankie Capan (USA) 75-71-74
214 - Kaitlyn Papp (USA) 76-68-70
221 - Maria Fernanda Escauriza (PAR) 78-74-69
222 - Sophie Lamb (ENG) 73-74-75
213 - Yumi Kudo (JPN) 74-69-70
214 - Alyaa Abdulghany (USA) 71-70-73
227 - Natasha Slater (ENG) 76-80-81
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 thousands of golfers each year. Past winners include Major Champions Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, who took his tally of professional Major titles to four with his wins at the 2014 Open Championship and US PGA Championship.
For full results from the 19th Faldo Series Grand Final visit http://www.faldoseries.info/tic/tmtic.cgi. You can follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faldoseries<http://www.facebook.com/faldoseries> and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/faldoseries<http://www.twitter.com/faldoseries>.