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Brilliant Brezovsky wins Faldo Series Slovakia Championship

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24 August 2018

Tatranksa, Slovakia (24 August): Michal Brezovsky claimed a sensational eleven shot victory at the Faldo Series Slovakia Championship at the Black Stork resort in the High Tatras. Brezovsky announced himself as a serious contender for further glory when he lines up in the 22nd Faldo Series Grand Final in November.

The overall champion Brezovsky commented after his win ‘I had a bit of luck, my irons were so-so but my short game was crucial. The second day went very well. The Grand Final will be my last championship as a junior and it’ll be a new experience. I’ve never played in the dry and hot conditions you get in the UAE so I’m really looking forward to a new challenge.’

Sir Nick Faldo praised Brezovsky on his dominant win. ‘Congratulations to Michal as well as the other age-group winners. I’ve heard lots of positive things about Black Stork and the great Slovakian outdoors. The Series and Black Stork have had a strong partnership for nine very good years and we’re grateful for the support from the Hruska family. I’ll be sure to catch as much of Michal’s golf as I can at the Grand Final!’

The tournament was played in perfect conditions on a course maintained superbly with immaculate greens. The light breeze didn’t cause too many problems but the first five holes provide plenty of challenges with various water hazards and close tree-lines. The fairways open up through the back nine but focus is paramount on one of the finest courses in Slovakia.

The glorious views of the Tatras mountain range provided the backdrop as Brezovsky fired an opening round 70 to open up his lead. His 67 on day two was an incredible display – a full six shots superior to any other player. A bogey at the last denied him the glory of a 66 but he put any frustration behind to seal the win with a professional 70. He will now play his first Faldo Series Grand Final at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club.

With the Boys’ Under-21 sown up by Brezevosky the remaining age-group categories were still to be decided. Under-18 Pavol Mach has played at two previous Grand Finals – at Stoke-By-Nayland and at Al Ain. Here he fired 75, 74 and a well-crafted 69 to win his division by three shots and seal another Grand Final appearance. Lukas Zustak battled hard but couldn’t quite reel Mach in and had to settle for runner-up.

The Boys’ Under-16 category saw Samuel Husarik hold off Jakub Plech by four shots. Husarik shot 73, 77 and 75 to keep his pursuers at arm’s length. He stretched away slowly but surely to build a buffer and looked comfortable – knowing Plech would have to find something truly extraordinary to catch him. Husarik kept his form and will now go to Al Ain.

Karolina Stara broke the Slovakian stranglehold on division wins as the Czech national claimed victory in the Girls’ Under-21s. Stara fired 76, 73 and 71 to win in style. She found two Eagles over the three days and produced fine golf on the second day back nine to come home in just 31.

Antonia Zacharovska completed the Grand Final line up as she won her Girls’ Under-16 division with complete comfort. Zacharovska found consistency early on and always looked in absolute control. Scores of 72, 73 and 73 on this challenging course placed her in her first Grand Final.

Sir Nick’s personal coach Keith Wood was ever-present on the range working with the players who have got to know him over the years in Slovakia. In the last decade Keith has seen the juniors who have played in the Faldo Series at Black Stork heading off to play college golf in the United States and there are many new players ready to carry the mantle. Slovakian golf is still in the early stages of development but great strides have been taken to progress on an international stage. 

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

Boys’ Under-21:

207 – Michal Brezovsky 70-67-70

233 Lukas Ruzek 74-78-81

Boys’ Under-18:

218 – Pavol Mach 75-74-69

221 – Lukas Zustak 75-74-72

Boys’ Under-16:

225 – Samuel Husarik 73-77-75

229 – Jakub Plech 75-78-76

Girls’ Under-21:

220 – Karolina Stara 76-73-71

229 – Paulina Ravlukova 78-74-77

Girls’ Under-16:

218 – Antonia Zacharovska 72-73-73

233 – Lenka Nebeska 78-76-79