Luo Xue-Wen of China (centre) receives the Faldo Series Asia trophy from Sir Nick Faldo (right) and Tenniel Chu, vice chairman of Mission Hills Group at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China. Photo Supplied
Chinese teenager Luo Xue-Wen was crowned China’s first Faldo Series Champion at the end of the seventh Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen on Friday.
The 16-year-old Luo, who is from Haiku in Hainan province, led winners from Indonesia, the Philippines, Scotland and Chinese Taipei.
“Our first Chinese champion is a historic moment and important for golf,” said Nick Faldo in a statement made available to the Post by Faldo Series CEO Tom Phillips.
“We celebrate Guan Tianlang’s trip to Augusta National next month, and now we see Xue-Wen beat a record field. In the world’s effort to grow golf, I’m proud of the week we spent with golfers from 17 different countries and really enjoyed the spirit these kids brought to Mission Hills.”
The talented Chinese teenager fired a three-under-par round of 69 to finish on seven under par, one ahead of girls’ champion, 15-year-old Cheng Ssu-Chi from Chinese Taipei.
Both players qualify for the 2013 Europe Grand Final along with Boys’ U21 winner Fahmi Reza of Indonesia, Scotland’s Ewan Scott (Boys’ U18) and Marvi Monsalve (Girls’ U21) from the Philippines.
The largest-ever field for a Faldo Series Asia Grand Final was with Faldo at Mission Hills, with 83 golfers competing for the 2013 title. Golfers aged 12 to 22 played over three rounds on the Faldo-designed course for the World Amateur Golf Ranking event.
Off the course, they spent time with the six-times Major winner, his personal coach Keith Wood and experts from Edel Golf and TrackMan.
Luo Xue-Wen also beat 16 Faldo Series competitors to the Mission Hills Trophy, presented to the highest-placed Chinese golfer and won last year by Guangzhou’s Guan Tianlang.
The 14-year-old was at Mission Hills earlier in the week to receive a Special Achievement Award from Faldo. In September, Faldo will begin taking students at a full-time residential academy for education and golf development in America.
The first Faldo Series Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona, is also home to the Faldo Series USA and marks the next significant step in the program’s history.
The 2012/2013 Faldo Series Asia schedule featured a record 18 tournaments in 15 countries, including four in mainland China and others in the Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Malaysia, Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand.
Cambodia’s Seng Vanseiha was one of the special invitees for the Asia Grand Final, but the youngster was unable to attend due to personal reasons, missing out on a golden opportunity to be first from the Kingdom to take part in this World Amateur ranking event.
As part of the 2013/14 cycle, Cambodia will host its second Faldo Series event at the Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap this June.