Ito of Japan crowned Faldo Series Asia Champion 2012
Masamichi Ito of Japan claimed the third Faldo Series title of his career with victory in The R&A supported sixth Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in China. The 16-year-old fired a final round 67 on the Faldo Course to win by three, adding to the Asia and Europe titles he won in 2010.
“I am so happy to win again,” said an emotional Ito on receiving his trophy from the six-time Major Champion. “My two Faldo Series wins in 2010 created so much opportunity for me so to win a third time is unbelievable. I am just so happy.”
“Masamichi beat our largest ever field and fully deserves his third Faldo Series title,” commented Faldo. “All the players will benefit from the experience this week. I hope they enjoyed themselves, I certainly did!”
“I am grateful to our partners, including Mission Hills, The R&A, ISPS and UFL,” added the former world number one. “It is this kind of support which allows us to provide opportunity for the finalists this week and to more than 7,000 young golfers annually in 27 countries worldwide.”
Kanagawa-born Ito opened with three birdies and an eagle to stun overnight leader Kohei Kinoshita.
He went on to reach ten under par and finish three ahead of his compatriot while 20-year-old Mai Aria ensured a double for Japan by claiming the Faldo Series Asia girls’ title.
Guan Tian Lang from Guangzhou claimed the inaugural Mission Hills Trophy as the highest-placed finisher from mainland China. The 13-year-old will now join Ito and Aria at the Europe Grand Final in Northern Ireland later this year.
Also celebrating victory in their age-group and a place in the 2012 Europe Grand Final at Lough Erne Resort in September were Cahyo Adhitomo from Indonesia (Boys’ Under-21), Singapore’s Joshua Ho (Boys’ Under-18) and Nur Durriyah Damian of Malaysia (Girls’ Under-16).
Eighty golfers from 17 countries were at Mission Hills in Shenzhen for the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.
Established in 1996, 37 Faldo Series tournaments now take place in 27 countries worldwide with more than 7,000 golfers taking part each year. Past winners include current world number ones Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.
Leading final scores: Boys’ Under-21: 209 – Cahyo Adhitomo (INA) 71-71-67; 215 – Gavin Samuels (ENG) 73-73-69; 217 – Mikumu Horikawa (JPN) 74-74-69. Boys’ Under-18: 215 – Joshua Ho (SIN) 71-78-66; 220 – Gavin Moynihan (IRE) 73-72-75; 221 – Wang Wei Lun (TPE) 75-73-73. Boys’ Under-16: 206 – Masamichi Ito (JPN) 68-71-67; 208 – Kohei Kinoshita (JPN) 70-66-72; 209 – Guan Tian Lang (CHN) 71-71-67. Girls’ Under-21: 224 – Mai Arai (JPN) 75-79-70; 231 – Tiffany Chan (HKG) 83-78-70; 235 – Charlotte Thomas (ENG) 85-78-72, Mookharin Ladgratok (THA) 82-78-75. Girls’ Under-16: 225 – Nur Durriyah Damian (MAL) 75-74-76; 226 – Ji Rong (CHN) 80-77-69; 230 – Kitty Tam (HKG) 77-79-74.
For scores and results from the sixth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, visit www.nickfaldo.com