Some of Asia’s brightest golfing prospects will be seen in action at the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at the Mission Hills course in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen this week as the tournament tees off today.
But for the second time in three years a Cambodian player, who had been given a participation ticket, has passed up a chance to play in this R&A World Amateur ranking event.
At the end of the Cambodian leg of the Faldo Asia Series, local player Thong Sokhamony, who finished down the field, got a special invite for the Grand Final since it has been Sir Nick Faldo’s desire to see every country represented no matter what the performance level had been.
The Post has learnt that Sokhamony will not make the trip to Shenzhen. He is reportedly “busy with his studies”.
Two years ago it was Seng Van Seiha, who chose not to compete in this event for “personal reasons”.
As one local golf analyst put it: “Sokhamony has missed the chance of a lifetime to be playing in an event as big as that. It is also a huge disappointment for Cambodian golf.”
Six-time Major winner Nick Faldo, the tournament host and the brain behind the series has said: “There is always a tremendous sense of excitement and anticipation heading into the grand final. It is a wonderful stage for these boys and girls to show their mettle under pressure in a high-quality tournament on a high-quality golf course,” the golfing legend said.
“For me, the chance to see at close quarters these golfers is one of the highlights of the year.
“The opportunity for me to contribute to setting them on the path to their professional goals is immensely rewarding,” he said.
The Shenzhen field will this year see 95 players from 18 countries take part, including for the first time those from Bangladesh and New Zealand, who joined the Faldo Series Network last year.