Onkanok Soisuwan continued her rich vein of form with a runaway victory in the fifth edition of the Faldo Series Cambodia Championship. Rated as one of Thailand’s brightest female golfing prospects, Onkanok proved too strong for her rivals over the immaculately-presented, Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort course.
Thanks to rounds of three-under-par 69 and a closing 70, Onkanok triumphed by six strokes in the fifth leg of the record-breaking 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia campaign. Five weeks after a similarly emphatic victory in the Singapore Junior Championship, Onkanok’s latest success will see her stock rise as well as her standing in the R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
One shot off the opening-day pace being set by her compatriot Korapat Dahanvarjor, it was Onkanok who stood firm during the second round. Making the most of the course knowledge she gained at last year’s event, Onkanok had the distinction of being the only player in the 2016 field to better par. There was consolation for Korapat whose two-day total of 145 meant he finished as the Boys’ champion. He will join Onkanok in the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Laguna Lang Co in Danang, Vietnam, in March, 2017.
Also making the trip there will be Japan’s Momoka Hidaka who topped the standings in the Girls’ division with rounds of 72 and 79. The honour of finishing as the leading Cambodian player went to Tevy Sareoun for the second year in succession. She posted scores of 84 and 79.
Under the watchful eye of Angkor Golf Resort’s Head Professional Alan Martin, Sareoun has improved considerably over the past 12 months (this weekend breaking 80 for the first time in tournament play) and will have a chance to showcase her progress at Laguna Lang Co.
David Baron, Director of Golf at the Siem Reap venue, said: “It was a privilege to host these young players. It's always a joy to watch them play and they all conducted themselves impeccably. “The quality of golf was extremely high and we wish all of the qualifiers the best of luck in the Grand Final next March.”
The Cambodian qualifier was also notable for a grass-roots clinic for students from the nearby NGO, JWOC (Journeys Within Our Community), conducted by Martin.
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “It’s encouraging to see Angkor Golf Resort continue their efforts to grow the game by introducing youngsters to the sport. “I hope some of those kids who attended the clinic will progress and take part in the Faldo Series Cambodia Championship in the coming years.”
Supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months.
As well as two events in China, India and Thailand, championships will be staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
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, both multiple Major winners.