The Faldo Series will make its debut in the Kingdom of Bahrain when the inaugural Middle East Championship tees off at the Royal Golf Club in Riffa on 2-3 October 2009.
Supported by UBS, Mission Hills and The R&A, the Faldo Series Middle East Championship will host many leading young golfers from several Arab countries, boys and girls aged 12 to 21, as they compete for a place in the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final in China, hosted by six-time Major winner Nick Faldo.
The tournament will also feature a Faldo Mini Series event on the Royal Golf Club’s Par 3 course, part of Faldo’s bid to simultaneously create access to the sport at a grass-roots level and help inspire a future generation of golfers in Bahrain and the Middle East.
Commented Nick Faldo: “There is a lot of focus on the Middle East right now with many new golf courses being built and a number of professional Tour events being hosted in the region. I hope we can help give some depth to those developments by offering opportunities to young golfers in the Middle East and hopefully identify and nurture some local champions of the future. I would like to thank the Royal Golf Club and the Bahrain Golf Association for their support. I wish all the competitors the best of luck and look forward to meeting the winners at the Grand Final.”
Michael Braidwood, General Manager of the Royal Golf Club added: “This event is great for Bahrain as it focuses on the youth. We need more kids to play and if they have a chance to compete in such a prestigious event with the chance of going to the grand final in China and meet Sir Nick Faldo himself, what more incentive do you need!”
The Middle East Championship is one of 15 Faldo Series Asia tournaments in 12 different countries during 2009/2010, including four in mainland China plus one in each of Bahrain, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines and Vietnam.
With over 1,000 competitors taking part and many more being introduced to the game, the climax of the season will be the fourth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final in March 2010, an R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking event which Faldo will once again host at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China, home of the Faldo Series Asia.
As well as spending time with Faldo, over 60 Asian finalists from across the region will compete for five invites to the Faldo Series Grand Final in Brazil plus the opportunity to play in a flagship Asian Tour or Ladies European Tour event for the overall boy and girl champion.
Hoping to win a hat-trick of Faldo Series Asia titles this season will be Rashid Khan of India. In March 2009 at Mission Hills, the 18-year-old from Delhi became the first player to successfully defend his Faldo Series Asia crown, replicating European Tour stars Nick Dougherty and Oliver Fisher, both of whom have won back-to-back Faldo Series titles in Europe since its launch in 1996.