May 23, 2017: Kim Tae-soo snared a final-hole birdie to clinch a thrilling victory in the 10th edition of the Faldo Series Philippines Championship.
Holding his nerve in a memorable finale, the Manila-based Korean emerged a worthy winner in the opening leg of the 2017-18 Faldo Series Asia campaign.
Thanks to his late heroics, Kim carded a closing one-over-par 73 over the Faldo Design course at Eagle Ridge Golf Club, about 50 kilometres from the business district of Makati.
That gave him a 54-hole aggregate of 234 in the event that forms part of The R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking.
As well as securing first place in the Boys’ Under-14 category, Kim claimed overall honors after a tense conclusion with five players finishing within five strokes of the champion.
Samantha Bruce ended one shot behind Kim but had the consolation of winning the Girls’ Under-21 segment while Jorge Josh was a further stroke back. He also headed his age group section, the Boys’ Under-16.
Also qualifying for the Grand Final were Harry Back (Boys’ Under-21 winner) and Laia Barro (Girls’ Under-16 winner).
Six-time Major champion Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “Congratulations to Tae-soo on getting the 2017-18 Faldo Series Asia off to such an exciting start.
“My thanks to the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines for all their work in promoting the game for youngsters and to everyone at Eagle Ridge, which was one of my first golf course designs and holds a special place in my heart.”
Opened in 1997, the undulating Eagle Ridge layout has matured into one of the most challenging golfing tests in the Philippines. This was the fourth time that the Faldo Series Philippines Championship had been staged at Eagle Ridge.
The 2017-18 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation.
As well as two events in China, India and Thailand, championships are being staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, 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.
Faldo Series Philippines Championship, leading final scores: Boys’ Under-21: 237 – Harry Back (80-79-78). 256 – Paqo Barro (84-92-80). Boys’ Under-16: 236 – Jorge Josh (87-74-75). 238 – Jacob Rolida (77-78-83). 259 – Joaquin Gomez (89-86-84). Boys’ Under-14: 234 – Kim Tae-soo (84-77-73). 239 – Sean Granada (80-79-80). 240 – Jeff Jung (78-78-84). Girls’ Under-21: 235 – Samantha Bruce (81-74-80). 244 – Tomi Arejola (86-78-80). Girls’ Under-16: 250 – Laia Barro (84-81-85). 264 – Cristine Fleetwood (96-86-82). 273 – Maffy Singson (95-84-94).Girls’ Under-14: 285– Maria Theresa Dela Paz (93-91-101).