Zuska leads Grand Final into last day
13 October 2016: Jiri Zuska backed up his wonderful first day with another quality round in the 20th Faldo Series Grand Final. The 17-year-old fired a 69 to go into the final day with a two shot advantage over Englishman Nathan Longley at Stoke-by-Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa.
The second day on the Gainsborough course again provided high quality golf from the eminent young players. Zuska’s sky high standard brought a strong reaction from the chasing pack. Fellow Under-18 competitor Nathan Longley shot a sparkling 67 to assume second place on the leaderboard. Longley lies two shots behind Zuska and will be desperate to repeat day two’s heroics and claim the title.
The Boys’ Under-18 division has plenty of firepower. Zuska and Longley were lighting up the course but weren’t quite able to distance themselves from Welshman Oliver Brown or Englishman Sam Bairstow. At three under par and just three shots behind the leader they will be ready to pounce should Zuska err just a fraction.
Adam Chapman lit up the first round with a sublime 67 but the second day proved trickier. There was a horror triple bogey on the second hole to drain all the positivity from the previously day. It is a testament to his character that he recovered admirably to post a very credible 72 and remain in contention. He still places joint first in his division with Herik Machado of Brazil.
Harry Goddard is leading his Under-16 category by two shots and could yet claim the overall title. Goddard has already tasted Faldo Series success in the past and one more good round will book him passage to the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final once again. His 69 and 70 have set him up well for a final day assault. Scotsman Alex Simpson and Dutch national Kiet van der Weele are two shots behind.
16-year-old Nicola Slater placed herself in contention for the overall title with a well-crafted 70 to back up her opening day salvo of 69. Slater’s clinical golf has afforded her a sizeable six shot lead in her Girls’ Under-16 division but she will be hoping she can mount a serious challenge upon the overall title.
Slater will also need to be wary of the Under-21 Girls’. Slovakian Sara Zrnikova shot a second 71 of the week and leads the division by two shots. Mary Doyle of Ireland was in great touch to fire the girls’ round of the day. Doyle’s 69 included an eagle on the par-5 16th hole and she now sits within striking distance. England’s Emily Brennan went round in 70 to place herself tied with Doyle and maintain her title ambitions.
Sir Nick Faldo conducted a short-game clinic for the players after the day’s play. Many of the leading players were also seeking out Nick for some last minute advice going into the last day at Stoke-by-Nayland. Representatives of the PGA have been in attendance all week with an aim to providing the young players with advice and an insight into further opportunities within the professional game.
Competitors aged 12 to 21 will compete for the title of Faldo Series Champion over 54 holes at on the Gainsborough course at Stoke-By-Nayland. The field will be split into five age-categories, with three boys and two girls to receive a trophy and an exemption into the eleventh Faldo Series Asia Grand Final in 2017. The leading boy and girl will be invited to play in a professional Tour event.
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.
Leading final scores:
139 – Adam Chapman (ENG) (67-72), Henrik Machado (BRA) (69-70)
141 – Adam Puchmelter (SK) (70-71)
Boys’ Under 18:
136 – Jiri Zuska (CZE) (67-69)
138 – Nathan Longley (ENG) (71-67)
Boys’ Under 16:
139 – Harry Goddard (ENG) (69-70)
141 – Alex Simpson (SCO) (73-68), Kiet van der Weele (NED) (74-67)
142 – Sara Zrnikova (SK) (71-71)
144 – Emily Brennan (ENG) (74-70), Mary Doyle (IRE) (75-69)
139 – Nicola Slater (ENG) (69-70)
145 – Amy Taylor (ENG) (74-71)
For live scoring updates during the 20th Faldo Series Grand Final please visit www.faldoseries.info/tic/tmtic.cgi. You can also follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faldoseries and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/faldoseries.