Abhijit Chadha of India birdied the final hole of the Faldo Course to win the fifth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China. Liu Yi-Chen of Chinese Taipei was crowned Faldo Series Asia girls’ champion to add to the Faldo Series Europe title she won last year.
19 year-old Chadha shot a final round 74 to finish on level par, one ahead of compatriot Ashbeer Saini from Punjab and 18 year-old Liu, who becomes the first female winner of the Faldo Series Europe and Asia ‘double’.
“This is my first international victory so I feel brilliant,” commented Chadha, who becomes the second champion from India after two-time winner Rashid Khan. “My knees were trembling on the 18th but I didn’t three-putt all week so that was the secret behind this amazing victory.”
The champion from Chandigarh continued: “I would like to thank Nick Faldo and all the sponsors for giving us this opportunity and I can’t wait to spend time with Sir Nick at the Europe Grand Final later in the year.”
“Congratulations to Abhijit on a wonderful win against a record field at a Faldo Series Asia Grand Final,” said Sir Nick Faldo. “Abhijit joins an impressive list of Faldo Series champions and I look forward to spending time with him and the other age-group winners during the 15th Faldo Series Europe Grand Final at the Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland on September 12-14.”
The six-time Major winner added: “I thank everyone involved in giving these players this experience. Our friends at Mission Hills, The R&A, ISPS and UFL, and all our other partners, bring valuable support and vision. It is their commitment that makes the Faldo Series possible and allows us to provide experience and opportunity to young people through golf.”
17 year-old Saini, who led by one going into a dramatic final hole that saw him produce a bogey against Chadha’s birdie, was still able to celebrate a place in the Faldo Series Europe Grand Final as winner of the Boys’ Under-16 category. England’s Jack Colegate, 17, booked a return trip to Lough Erne by winning the Boys’ Under-18 category, the same title he won in the 2010 Europe Grand Final to earn his place at Mission Hills. Defending champion Masamichi Ito, 15, from Japan could only manage a 74 in the final round to finish four behind Chadha in fifth place.
In the girls’ category, Liu from Taoyuan will return to Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in September to try and make it three Faldo Series girls’ titles in a row. She will be joined by 16 year-old Wang Chi, also from Chinese Taipei, who won the Girls’ Under-16 category.
79 golfers from 17 different countries took part in the 2011 Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills. The largest ever line-up included representatives from 14 Asian countries, including 21 golfers from mainland China, plus others from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and England.
Over 35 Faldo Series tournaments now take place in more than 25 countries worldwide with more than 5,000 golfers per year participating. Former winners include Rory McIlroy, Nick Dougherty, Marc Warren, John Parry, Melissa Reid, Florentyna Parker and Yani Tseng, all winners on Tour.
The Faldo Series Asia Grand Final was supported by major partners ISPS, Mission Hills and The R&A, together with official golf wear partner UFL and official equipment supplier TaylorMade. It was endorsed by the Asian Tour, the Asia Pacific Golf Federation (APGC) and the Guangdong Golf Association.
Leading final scores: Boys’ Under-21: 216 – Abhijit Chadha (IND) 73-69-74; 219 – Huang Tao (TPE) 76-71-72; 223 – Kenneth De Silva (MAL) 76-74-73. Boys’ Under-18: 222 – Jack Colegate (ENG) 70-77-75; 223 – Liu Lok Tin (HKG) 76-73-74; 225 – Jin Daxing (CHN) 69-75-81. Boys’ Under-16: 217 – Ashbeer Saini (IND) 72-71-74; 220 – Masamichi Ito (JPN) 73-73-74; 222 – Terrence Ng (HKG) 80-68-74. Girls’ Under-21: 217 – Liu Yi-Chen (TPE) 76-73-68; 226 – Saraporn Chamchoi (THA) 79-73-74; 232 – Mai Arai (JPN) 80-75-77. Girls’ Under-16: 224 – Wang Chi (TPE) 76-74-74; 230 – Kitty Tam (HKG) 77-74-79, Wu Sha (CHN) 73-76-81.