Luo Xue-Wen was crowned the first Faldo Series Champion from China in the seventh Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen. Winners also hailed from Indonesia, The Philippines, Scotland and Chinese Taipei.
“Our first Chinese Champion is a historic moment and important for golf,” said Sir Nick Faldo. ‘We celebrated Guan Tianlang’s trip to Augusta earlier this week and then saw 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.”
“I am very proud to be the first winner from my country,” said 16-year-old Luo from Haikou in Hainan. “This week has been a very special experience and I have really enjoyed learning from Sir Nick Faldo.”
Luo fired a three-under-par round of 69 to finish on seven under par, one ahead of Girls’ Champion Cheng Ssu-Chi, 15, from Chinese Taipei. Both players qualify for the 2013 Europe Grand Final along with Boys’ Under-21 winner Fahmi Reza of Indonesia, Scotland’s Ewan Scott (Boys’ Under-18) and Marvi Monsalve (Girls’ Under-21) from The Philippines.
The largest-ever field for a Faldo Series Asia Grand Final was with Faldo at Mission Hills with 83 golfers from 17 countries competing for the 2013 title.
Golfers aged 12 to 22 played over three rounds on the Faldo Course for the World Amateur Golf Ranking event. Off the course they spent time with the six-time Major Champion, his personal coach Keith Wood and experts from Edel Golf and TrackMan.
Luo 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 and spend time with the three-time Masters winner ahead of his debut at Augusta National next month.
Local school children attended during the week to enjoy clinics with Faldo and watch the competitors in action, part of a joint drive with Mission Hills to help grow golf at a grass-roots level.
Established in 1996, 40 Faldo Series tournaments now take place in 30 countries worldwide with more than 7,000 golfers participating each year. Past winners include current world number ones Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.
In September 2013, Faldo will begin taking students at a full-time residential academy for education and golf development in America. The first ever FaldoSeriesAcademy in Casa Grande, Arizona is also home to the Faldo Series USA and marks the next significant step in the programme’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.
The seventh Faldo Series Asia Grand Final was supported by major partners ISPS, Mission Hills and The R&A. It was endorsed by the Asian Tour, the Asia Pacific Golf Federation and the Guangdong Golf Association.
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Luo Xue-Wen of China receives the Faldo Series Asia trophy from Sir Nick Faldo and Tenniel Chu, Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Group at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China.