In a drama fit for the theatre, 21-year-old Yuki Kamasu extended Japan’s recent domination of the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, edging out Czech Republic’s Simong Zach in a sudden death play off at the Mission Hills course in the Southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Saturday. Kamasu closed out with a three under 69 for a 54-hole aggregate of nine-under 207, a total that was equaled by Zach who carded a 68.
The Czech appeared to have a distinct advantage when he found himself at the centre of the fairway less than 100 yards from the flag even as Kamasu was crawling out of a bogey six at 18. But in swiftly changing patterns, Zach dunked two balls in the hazard in front of the green which saw his chances of becoming the first non-Asian winner disappear into the gathering gloom. Kamasu, on the other hand pushed his drive into.
“This victory is important for me. It’s my first international win and is a big boost for my confidence and self-belief,” said Kamasu.
By winning the ninth edition of this R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking event, Kamasu emulated two previous Japanese winners, Masamichi Ito and Mikumu Horikawa in the last four years.
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo said: “Kamasu’s victory caps a fantastic week which has seen us bring together more than 80 young golfers from 18 countries around the world. The players are getting better every year and I am excited about the future as we continue our effort to grow the game of golf globally through the Faldo Series.”
American Zachary Bauchou, winner of the Faldo Series Grand Final at The Greenbrier in West Virginia, USA, last October, eagled the final hole to claim sole possession of third place, just one shot shy of joining the Kamasu-Zach play-off.
Meanwhile, Zach, who was pipped in a play-off by Bauchou at The Greenbrier, had the consolation of winning the Boys’ Under-18 division.
In the Girls’ Under-21’s, victory went to Princess Mary Superal of the Philippines with a score of three-under 213. Minami Hiruta, the reigning Japan Women’s Amateur champion, was runner-up on 216.
The Girls’ Under-16 winner was Japan’s Yumi Kudo, on a countback from China’s Liu Yan and New Zealander Brooke Hamilton. All three were tied at five-over 221.
China’s Cao Sen triumphed in the Boys’ Under-16 segment thanks to a sparkling closing 68, edging out Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Kai-jen on a countback after both finished on 213.
Cao also received the Mission Hills Trophy, presented by Mission Hills Vice Chairman Tenniel Chu to the leading Chinese player.
Recognised as the only global amateur series for boys and girls, the Faldo Series was established in 1996, expanding to Asia in 2006 and Cambodia got into the network of over 40 tournaments in 30 plus countries world wide three years ago.