TAIPEI, Chinese Taipei — National team stalwart Hung Jo-hua will aim to continue her rise to prominence when she defends her Faldo Series Chinese Taipei Championship title this week.
Hung scored a nail-biting victory on home soil last year and is seeking to repeat that success when the 54-hole event tees-off at the Tsai Hsing Elite Club. On the outskirts of Taipei, the course boasts panoramic views of the Taiwan Straits.
Less than six weeks after crowning the champions from the 2015-16 campaign, Sir Nick Faldo is eagerly anticipating the opening leg of the record-breaking 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia campaign.
The 11th season of the junior series will culminate with the staging of the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Laguna Lang Co in Danang, Vietnam next March.
Six-time Major champion Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “It promises to be another memorable season for the Faldo Series Asia with a minimum of 21 events in 17 countries. For the first time, we will hold two qualifiers in Thailand.
“As well as providing a springboard into the professional game for dozens of talented players, the Faldo Series Asia has also succeeded in helping to grow the game at the grass-roots level via various activities that have been undertaken at our events.
“Traditionally we’ve had strong fields at the Chinese Taipei Championship. I’m delighted that we do so again this year. My thanks go to the Golf Association of the Republic of China and the Tsai Hsing Elite Club. Their support is invaluable.”
Now aged 16, Hung has risen to 310th in The R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. Among her recent highlights, she won the Taiwan Amateur Championship and National Summer Ranking Tournament and placed tied fifth in the Yeangder Open on the Tawian LPGA Tour.
She also ended fourth in the Girls’ Under-16 Division at last month’s 10th anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final – a performance she’d like to improve upon when the 2016-17 final heads to Vietnam.
Among Hung’s main female rivals this week are likely to be Lin Jie-en, the current National Senior High School Championship Girls winner, and Chen Hsuan, winner of the 2015 National Fall Ranking Tournament and currently the leading girl in the national rankings.
There is also a strong male representation, spearheaded by Chiu Han-ting, the leading boy in the Chinese Taipei national ranking.
As well as posting a top-20 finish in last year’s Asia Pacific Amateur Championship, Chiu tied for second at the 2015 Asia Pacific Amateur Team Championship for the Nomura Cup and also had the distinction of representing the region against Europe’s top amateurs in the latest edition of the Bonallack Trophy.
Also chasing places in the Grand Final are Chen Chieh-sheng, last year’s Boys’ Under-21 champion, and Yang Chun-chieh, Boys’ Under-16 winner.
Supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months.
As well as three events in China and two each in India and Thailand, championships will be staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
Winners of age-group categories at each of the championships will earn themselves places in the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.
Spencer Robinson at email@example.com