Young golfers from six countries will compete for a spot in next year’s Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills in China when the third edition of the Cambodian leg of the Faldo Series Asia tees off this Saturday at the award-winning Sir Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap.
Split into three different categories this year, the 25 golfers in the fray – 17 boys and eight girls – will vie for five Mission Hills tickets on offer.
The winner of the Boys U21 group and two qualifiers each from the Boys U16 and Girls sections based on the best 36 hole gross score will be eligible to take part in the ninth Asia Grand Final, which is a world amateur golf ranking event.
As a special gesture, six-time Major winner Faldo has offered a place in the Grand Final for the best performing Cambodian among the three in contention this year irrespective of their order of finish.
While Sokhamony Thong and Pich Meta will represent Cambodia in the Boys U21 category, 14-year-old Tevy Sareoun is among the eight contestants in the Girls competition.
It may be recalled that a similar special offer had been made to Cambodia’s lone competitor Seng Vanseiha in 2012 despite him finishing down the field. But for personal reasons the youngster could not make the trip.
“We hope to build on the success of the last two years and benefit more young golfers from Cambodia and neighbouring countries,” AGR director of golf David Baron told the Post yesterday.
Thailand heads the list of entries with 15. The others in the field are three Cambodians, three South Koreans and one each from Malaysia and the United States. Interestingly, there are also a pair of twins from New Zealand of Cambodian lineage.
The first round tees off at 9am on Saturday with the final round beginning at 8:30am on Sunday.
The 2013/2014 Faldo Series Asia schedule features a record 22 tournaments in 18 countries, including four in mainland China, two in India and others in the Philippines, Taiwan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand. Bangladesh, New Zealand and Australia are new additions to the ever growing list of Faldo Series venues.
The series is supported by The R&A, ISPS Handa and Mission Hills and is endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Federation.
In keeping with the Faldo Series’ convention of encouraging grassroots development alongside top class competitive experience, the AGR will be organising a clinic for 20 students from the Siem Reap-based charity organisation Build Your Future Today (BFT).
Founded by a Khmer Rouge survivor, BFT is working to make life better for the locals.