The Faldo Series made history this week at the Wales Championship with a record-breaking event marking a number of new firsts for Sir Nick Faldo’s global junior golf initiative.
For the first time, the Faldo Series was held across two courses, the Vale Resort and Cottrell Park, to accommodate a record-breaking 260 elite junior golfers all in search of an invite to the 24th Series Europe Grand Final at the Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club, Abu Dhabi in November.
The tournament produced some world-class moments of golf with the dramatic final day being broadcast live to both the Series and media partners’ social channels via streaming partner ContentLIVE.
Following the three-day campaign, it was Harriet Lockley (-7) and Charlie Salter (-4) who claimed the Girls and Boys Wales Championship titles respectively, following emphatic displays.
The overall win will paint a bright future for the local Welsh golfer Lockley, who also celebrates the U16 title, in what was the largest junior girls’ field both the Series and Wales have ever hosted.
After her win, Lockley said, “I’m so happy with my game over the three days here, after having a tricky time at Cottrell Park I manage to scramble really well and keep my composure heading back to the Vale Resort. It was amazing to be part of a tournament with so many other girls and I am really proud to have come out on top! It was a fantastic opportunity to test my game over multiple courses and have to adapt to my surroundings so quickly. I’m so excited for the Grand Final and to test my game in a whole new level!”
Meanwhile, Salter builds upon his previous Series success at the Midlands Boys event back in 2018 to claim the U21 and Overall title in Wales, after being pushed to a playoff following Joshua Ashton’s birdie on the last. Despite leading for much of the tournament, Ashton came off second best to Salter who showed composure and class in their putting dual to take the win and secure the invite to Al Ain for the Europe Grand Final.
Walking off the 18th green following his playoff win, Charlie Salter said, “It has been an awesome experience here with the Faldo Series and battling it out with Josh, trading shots and the share of the lead was really enjoyable. Coming into the playoff I felt pretty confident once I was on the green, with a putt that suited my game and I am now really looking forward to the challenge in Abu Dhabi”
All is not lost for Ashton and fellow runners up, who will also be rewarded with invites to the Europe Grand Final come November due to the volume of players validating an extension of the prize.
Elsewhere in the Wales Championship, England’s Jessica Hall (-6) claimed the U21 Girls event, while Joseph Buenfeld’s U18 Boys’ title will be of particular jubilation after he had shown some great form at previous Series events earlier this season, including placing second at Brocket Hall for the England South II Boys qualifier. Equally, U16 champion William Horne will be celebrating a special win, having previously fallen at the last hurdle in a final round playoff at Kedleston Park for the England Midlands Championship a few weeks ago.
Matthew Faldo, Director of the Faldo Series, said: “It has been a remarkable few days here in Wales and we’re very thankful to the Vale Resort and Cottrell Park in supporting the Faldo Series reach new heights with two magnificent courses. Our largest ever event produced some great moments, with a particularly dramatic finish across all the Boys final rounds and even better to be able to capture this on camera with our live stream.
The Faldo Series was played under strict Covid-19 regulations to ensure the safety of players and officials, with sanitisation stations, social distancing and reduced touch points implemented throughout the event. Players continued to use the Faldo Series app to complete all scoring.
The Faldo Series season continues with the rescheduled England South I Boys Qualifier at Royal Ashdown Forest on August 18, and the Slovakia Girls and Boys Championship at Black Stork Golf Resort on the same day.
For all the scores from the Faldo Series Boys and Girls Wales Championship, visit faldoseries.com.