Thai teenager takes Faldo series title in Cambodia

Watcharasit Trachuentong from Thailand claimed a narrow victory in the second Faldo Series Cambodia Championship at Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap.  The 17-year-old was one of two Thais to qualify for the Asia Grand Final in China along with winners from Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Trachuentong (Boys’ Under-21) fired rounds of 72 and 73 on the Faldo Design course in Siem Reap to finish tied on one over par with overnight-leader Aaerishna Shahsthy (Boys’ Under-16) of Malaysia.  As age-group winners, both players will join Sir Nick Faldo for the eighth Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen but it was the Thai teenager who claimed the overall trophy thanks to a stronger final round.

The girls’ division also went to a count-back with 16-year-old Andrea Au from Hong Kong edging Thailand’s Onkanok Soisuwan, 12, to the win.  However both girls also qualify for the World Amateur Golf Ranking event at Mission Hills next March.

The second Faldo Series Cambodia Championship featured a range of nationalities from Cambodian to Indonesian to five players from New Zealand.  In a bid to grow golf in the local community, the tournament also involved school-children from Siem Reap who enjoyed a free coaching clinic before watching the competitors in action. 

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 Major Champions 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 Faldo Series Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona is also home to the Faldo Series USA and marks the next significant step in the programme’s history.

The 2013/2014 Faldo Series Asia schedule features a record 19 tournaments in 15 countries, including four in mainland China, two in India and others in The Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand.

The Faldo Series Asia is supported by The R&A, ISPS Handa and Mission Hills.  It is endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Federation.

Leading final scores: Boys’ Under-21: 145 – Watcharasit Trachuentong (THA) 72-73; 146 – Poovadol Leeartharn (THA) 73-73.  Boys’ Under-16: 145 – Aaerishna Shahsthy (MAL) 71-74; 147 – Thanaphum Khanchitworakun (THA) 75-72.  Girls’ Under-21: 151 – Andrea Au (HKG) 75-76, Onkanok Soisuwan (THA) 75-76; 165 – Pinkaew Trachuentong (THA) 85-80.