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Strategic Challenge Facing Talented Youngsters

Nick Faldo expects his Eagle Ridge course to pose a test at next week’s Philippines Championship. Picture by Xaume Olleros.

Manila, Philippines: A delicate touch on around the greens will be the key to good scoring when participants tackle the Faldo Course at Eagle Ridge in the ninth edition of the Faldo Series Philippines Championship.

Many of the country’s most talented young golfers have signed up for the second leg of the record-breaking 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia campaign from May 11-13.

To be held over 54 holes, the event, which is being played at Eagle Ridge for the third occasion, receives points for the R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Opened in 1997, the Eagle Ridge layout has matured into one of the most challenging in the Philippines.

As one of the first golf course designs undertaken by Sir Nick Faldo, Eagle Ridge holds a special place in the heart of the six-time Major championship winner.

Located about 50 kilometres from the business district of Makati, it’s a naturally undulating course that calls for a strategic approach.

Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “I believe we created an extremely playable and enjoyable golf course. I wanted to design a layout that would require thought and attention to every individual shot, a course that rewards and punishes in a fair and logical way.

“With demanding and occasionally spectacular bunkering throughout, our design at Eagle Ridge features a good variety of wide and tight fairways and greens that demand a variety of approach shots and a delicate touch.”

Among those expected to contend for honours is Ira Christian Alido, who pulled off an extraordinary victory last year, overturning a 10-stroke deficit with nine holes remaining before eventually triumphing in a play-off.

Winners of the age-group categories at Eagle Ridge will earn themselves places in the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Faldo at Laguna Lang Co in Danang, Vietnam, in March, 2017.

It will be the first occasion since the Series was launched in 2007 that the Grand Final has been held at a venue other than Mission Hills China.

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.

Recognised as the only global amateur series for boys and girls, the Faldo Series was established in 1996, expanding to Asia in 2006.

Today, 40 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 30-plus countries worldwide, touching more than 7,000 golfers each year. Past winners include Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, both multiple Major winners.

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