16 year old Megan Khang crowned first ever female Champion and first American winner
Megan Khang from Rockland, Massachusetts posted a final round 69 to win the seventeenth Faldo Series Grand Final by two shots at The Greenbrier in West Virginia, USA. It was triple success for the U.S. as Zachary Bauchou and Brad Dalke won the Boys’ Under-18 and 16 titles respectively.
“I did not know I was the first girl winner until I reached the green. I knew about Yani Tseng but thought she must have won the whole thing, it hasn’t really sunk in yet, to be one of only three American girls competing against all these great players from around the world, it is cool.”
“This is a truly historic moment as we crown our first ever female champion and our first ever American winner,” commented Sir Nick Faldo. “Megan joins a roster of international champions that includes multiple Major winners Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.”
“It is thanks to the support of Jim Justice and The Greenbrier that we were able to bring the Faldo Series to America for the first time and our Major partners; The R&A; The European Tour; ISPS Handa and the PGA Tour. Without them we could not have brought this level of opportunity to 99 competitors from 19 different nations this week and to more than 7,000 young people in 30 countries worldwide each year.
Overnight leader Paul Kinnear of England, 19, who started one ahead of Khang, carded a 72 to finish in outright second and win the Boys’ Championship. 20-year-old Michaela Gasplmayr (Girls Under-21) held off a late challenge from former winner Sophie Keech and England’s Annabel Dimmock to become the first Austrian to win a Faldo Series title.
Faldo Series Champions Khang and Kinnear will be offered a start in a professional Tour event. They will also be invited by Faldo to the eighth Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in China next March, as will Bauchou, Dalke and Gasplmayr.
Off the course players aged 12 to 22 received expert advice from Faldo’s personal coach Keith Wood, experts from TrackMan and sports psychologist Dr Gio Valiante at the new Faldo Golf Centre. Faldo was on hand all week to spend time with the competitors, including several clinics and Q&A sessions. On Wednesday the former world number one teamed up with PGA of America Board Member Suzy Whaley for a Q&A session with players and a grass-roots clinic with local school children.
Supported by The R&A, The Greenbrier, ISPS Handa, European Tour, PGA Tour, PGA of America, West Virginia Golf Association, TaylorMade, Golf Channel and CBS the 2013 Faldo Series Europe schedule features a record 20 tournaments in 15 countries including six in England plus others in Ireland, Abu Dhabi, Chile, the Czech Republic, Scotland, Austria, Wales, Brazil, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia, Greece and the USA.
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 2014, 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 marks another significant step in the programme’s history.
Leading final scores: Boys’ Under-21: 212 – Paul Kinnear (ENG) 72-69-73; 220 – Martin Hromadka (CZE) 76-71-73; 221 – Nicholas Inderthal (GER) 77-72-72. Boys’ Under-18: 214 – Zachary Bauchou (USA) 72-74-68, Simon Zach (CZE) 71-70-73; 215 – Vitek Novak (CZE) 70-76-69. Boys’ Under-16: 217 – Brad Dalke (USA) 71-74-72; 223 – Jakub Hrinda (SK) 75-74-74; 224 – Marco Penge (ENG) 77-74-73. Girls’ Under-21: 226 – Michaela Gasplmayr (AUT) 76-74-76; 228 – Annabel Dimmock (ENG) 76-78-74, Sophie Keech (ENG) 75-78-75. Girls’ Under-16: 210 – Megan Khang (USA) 70-71-69; 223 – Olivia Mehaffey (NIR) 74-78-71, Kristen Gillman (USA) 74-76-73.
For final scores and results from the 17th Faldo Series Grand Final visit www.nickfaldo.com. You can also follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faldoseries and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/faldoseries.