Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion receives award from former Open Champion

FaldoAsia-Pacific Amateur Champion Guan Tianlang has received a Special Achievement Award celebrating his victory from former Open Champion Sir Nick Faldo.

The 14-year-old’s victory in the 2012 championship at amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand secured him a place in the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club from April 11-14 where he will become the youngest player in the event’s history.

Faldo and Guan were in Shenzhen for the start of the seventh Faldo Series Asia Grand Final which is supported by The R&A. Guan was among the winners in the event in 2012.

“I was impressed with Tianlang when he won the Faldo Series last year and we played a couple of holes together,” said Faldo ahead of the Asia Grand Final on March 13-15.  “Winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship to qualify for the Masters is a unique achievement which I wanted to recognise in a special way.  I was also happy to spend some time on the range with him and give him support and advice for Augusta.”

The largest-ever field for a Faldo Series Asia Grand Final has joined Faldo at Mission Hills.  A total of 83 golfers from 17 countries will compete for the 2013 title on March 13-15.

16 Faldo Series competitors also have a chance to win the Mission Hills Trophy, awarded to the highest-placed Chinese golfer together with an invitation to the 2013 Europe Grand Final.  Guan was last year’s inaugural winner aged only 13 but will not compete in this year’s Grand Final as he has to leave early for America.

Reigning Faldo Series Europe Champion Jack Singh-Brar will be hoping to become only the second person to win the Europe and Asia titles since Masamichi Ito of Japan in 2010.  Ito won his third crown at Mission Hills last year but has since turned professional so will not defend.  16-year-old Englishman Singh-Brar is one of five qualifiers from the 2012 Europe Grand Final.

The World Amateur Golf Ranking event will see golfers aged 12 to 22 compete over three rounds on the Faldo Course in Shenzhen. With the field at Mission Hills divided into five age-categories, three boys and two girls will each receive a trophy and an exemption into the seventeenth Europe Grand Final later this year.  The leading boy and girl will also be invited to play in a professional Tour event and the title of Faldo Series Asia Champion will go to the player with the lowest gross score, regardless of age or gender.

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.

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 is supported by major partners ISPS, Mission Hills and The R&A.  It is endorsed by the Asian Tour, the Asia Pacific Golf Federation and the Guangdong Golf Association.