Mikumu Horikawa of Japan raced to victory in the eighth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen yesterday, pushing overnight leader Paul Kinnear of England into second place.
The 21-year-old from Kanagawa fired a superb final round of 68 on the Sir Nick Faldo-designed course to win by three shots and follow in the footsteps of compatriot Masamichi Ito, who won the title in 2010 and 2012.
“The time is now for the Faldo Series. Mikumu [Horikawa]’s come-from-behind victory caps an amazing week which has seen us crown champions from around the world,” Sir Nick Faldo said in a statement made available to the Post.
“‘Today’s winners will travel later this year to the United States where they will be vying to emulate the success of Korean-American Megan Khang, who became our first girl champion at The Greenbrier last October. It’s an international story and I’m proud of that,” added the six-time Major winner.
On receiving his trophy from Faldo, Horikawa said: “This victory means so much to me as it was my third final and last chance to win the Faldo Series. I picked up a putting tip from Sir Nick yesterday which really made a difference to my game today.” Horikawa opened with three birdies in his first four holes to stun the overnight leader. He went on to reach nine-under par and finish three ahead of Kinnear, who closed with a 73 to finish second.
Pauline del Rosario held off a strong challenge from fellow Filipino Princess Mary Superal to win the Girls’ division. The 15-year-old qualifies for the 2014 Faldo Series Grand Final along with Horikawa, Boys’ U18 winner Marc Ong of Singapore and Girls’ U21 winner Wang Mei-Xing from China.
Bai Zheng-Kai from Guangdong made it a double success for China by winning the Boys U16 division. The 16-year-old also claimed the Mission Hills Trophy as the highest-placed finisher from mainland China.
As many as 81 golfers from 19 countries joined Sir Nick Faldo at Mission Hills in Shenzhen for the eighth Asia Grand Final. Competitors aged 12 to 21 played over three rounds on the Faldo course for the World Amateur Golf Ranking event. Off the course, they spent time with the maestro, his personal coach Keith Wood and other experts.