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Curtain goes up on Faldo Series event

120911_22
British golfing legend Sir Nick Faldo playing a practice round in Phnom Penh in March. Photograph: SRENG MENG SRUN/Phnom Penh Post

Sir Nick Faldo’s global grassroots golf initiative, the Faldo Series, will make its highly anticipated Cambodian debut today at Siem Reap’s Angkor Golf Resort.

An air of expectation and excitement is surrounding the two-day event that will play out on a golf course designed by the six-time Major winner.

There are 34 contestants from nine countries lining up for this 36-hole tournament which spreads out into four categories – two each for boys and girls in the age groups of U21 and U16.

At stake for the winners of each of these divisions will be a ticket to the 2013 Asian Grand Final in Mission Hills, China early next year. There is also an U12 boys and girls event running concurrently.

Boys will play from the white tees, while the girls and U12s will hit off the red tees.

Young hopefuls from Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, the US, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and South Africa are set for action in an event Cambodia will be hosting for the first time. The home aspirations are firmly pinned on the talented Seng Vanseiha.

A small disappointment for the contestants is that Faldo will not be in Siem Reap.

The British legend will join 89 golfers from 19 countries at the Lough Erne Resort, in Northern Ireland, where the 16th Europe Grand Final tees off today. For the first time, the Europe field includes the four winners from the 2012 Asia Grand Final.

“With our Asia Grand Final winners also taking part, I’m looking forward to passing on my experience to our largest-ever field,” Faldo said in comments made available to the Post.

Competing from Asia will be 17-year-old Kohei Kinoshita of Japan and his female compatriot, 20-year-old Mai Arai. They will be joined by Singapore’s Joshua Ho, 18, and 17-year-old Malaysian Nur Durriyah Damian.

So there is a lot of inspiration to be drawn from the European final for the golfers assembled in Siem Reap hoping to make this journey themselves next year.

“We will have a players’ clinic before Tuesday’s tee-off on the driving range,” Angkor Golf Resort general manager Adam Robertson told the Post.

“On Wednesday, there will be a grassroots golf clinic for a local school, after which the students will be encouraged to watch the golf. We wish to thank our local sponsors, Blue Pumpkin, Coca Cola and Desani Water.”

To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at hirimanju@yahoo.com

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