Phuket, Thailand (October 3): Rugby School Thailand’s golfing scholars stole the show at the inaugural Faldo Series Phuket.
Thonsaeng ‘Nua’ Nunya led the charge with a trio of successes in the 36-hole event, the first in a series of three qualifiers staged in conjunction with international schools in Thailand.
With rounds of 68 and 71 at Laguna Golf Phuket, Thonsaeng topped the standings in the Boys’ Under-16 category, edging out British International School Phuket’s Sebastian Sawtell, the pre-tournament favourite.
Thonsaeng’s three-under-par total of 139 also ensured that he claimed overall honours. For good measure, he combined with Rugby School Thailand team-mates Intuch ‘In’ Srisuriyachai and Jakkarin ‘Son’ Jitmaneekan to clinch victory in the Boys’ Team Division.
A posting on the school’s website paid tribute to their efforts. “All five students represented the school in an exemplary manner and were a credit to Rugby School Thailand. Congratulations to them all for fantastic performances.”
Also in celebratory mood was 16-year-old Nilubol ‘Bosshy’ Panno, who once more displayed her liking for the award-winning layout.
Winner of the Girls’ Under-16 title in last year’s Faldo Series Thailand Championship – South at Laguna Golf Phuket and tied seventh in the same category at the 13th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, the Phuket PALS School student posted a two-round total of 146 to finish as the leading female.
Another feature of the Phuket qualifier was the inclusion of Under-13 and Under-11 categories for boys and girls with Filip Arnesten, Bhumkit ‘Heart’ Pitchayasaowapak, Pimpisa ‘Fai’ Rubrong and Louise Landgraf topping their respective divisions.
Combined performances of players in the Faldo Series Thailand qualifiers in Phuket, Hua Hin and Pattaya will be reflected in an Order of Merit from which five age-group category winners will progress to the 14th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Vietnam’s Laguna Lăng Cô next March.
There they will join winners from the standalone Faldo Series Thailand Championship, led by Weerawish Narkprachar who topped the standings at Bangkok’s Watermill Golf Club & Resort in June.
Banyan Golf Club will host the second leg of the Thai qualifiers in Hua Hin (December 6-7) with the concluding leg slated for Pattaya in February.
The trio of Faldo Series Thailand Championship qualifiers are being run by Golf Development Asia (GDA) and Fore Management Group, both Bangkok-based companies that specialise in organising junior tournaments.
Fredrik Edmunds, Director at GDA, said: “It was fantastic to see more golfers competing in this year’s Faldo Series Phuket. The golfing talent in Thailand continues to grow from strength to strength with the support of venues like Laguna Golf Phuket and Angsana.
“Congratulations to all those that competed and a massive thank you to all parents and school staff for accompanying them.”
Each of the three events will allocate a maximum of 100 spots to international schools in Thailand and 40 for other entries. International schools teams that are part of the existing International Schools’ Golf Tour (ISGT) will also be able to win team Order of Merit points towards the ISGT season.
In addition to BISP, Phuket PALS School and Rugby School Thailand, other schools represented at Laguna Golf Phuket were Bangkok Patana School, Harrow International School Bangkok, Head Start International School, International School of Myanmar, Kajonkiet International School, Norwich International School Bangkok, Regents International School Pattaya, St Andrews International School Bangkok, Surat Thani and The American School Bangkok.
The 2019-20 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation. The International Junior Golf Academy is a partner of the Faldo Series.
As well as the qualifiers in Thailand, the FSA schedule includes three events in China and championships in Australia, Bangladesh, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, India, 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 champions include Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, both multiple Major winners, while recent LPGA Tour winners include Thidapa Suwannapura (2010 Faldo Series Asia Grand Final Girls’ champion) and Nasa Hataoka (2016 Faldo Series Asia Grand Final Girls’ champion) who claimed her third LPGA Tour title in March.
Faldo Series Phuket Championship, leading final scores: Boys’ Under-18: 167 – Callum Woodward (81-87). Boys’ Under-16: 139 – Thonsaeng ‘Nua’ Nunya (68-71). 141 – Sebastian Sawtell (70-71). 144 – Donut Rattanadilok (72-72). 148 – Hoon Yoon (70-78). 149 – In Srisuriyachai (76-73). Girls’ Under-16: 146 – Nilubol ‘Bosshy’ Panno (74-72). 148 – Annie Saechueng (75-73). 150 – Penguin Phongthammarug (76-74). 154 – Prim Praesaengiam (79-75). 155 – Tina Kong Yizhen (78-77).
Mini Faldo Series Phuket Championship, leading final scores: Boys’ Under-13: 143 – Filip Arnesten (72-71); Force Kosalutta (70-73). 156 – Damon Kim Dong-wook (78-78). Boys’ Under-11: 144 – Bhumkit ‘Heart’ Pitchayasaowapak (73-71). 147 – Project Tassaneetipagorn (73-74). 155 – Mega Nithidpong (78-77). Girls’ Under-13: 147 – Pimpisa ‘Fai’ Rubrong (76-71); Nicha Thawinwan (73-74). 149 – Jenny Keil (75-74); Pai Tassaneetipagorn (72-77). Girls’ Under-11: 151 – Louise Landgraf (73-78). 154 – Prim Prachnakorn (80-74). 157 – Iris Muslu (81-76).
For more information on the Faldo Series, please visit: http://nickfaldo.com/about-faldo-series. You can also follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faldoseries and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/faldoseries
For media enquiries, please contact Matthew Faldo on +44 753 829711 (United Kingdom), email: MFaldo@nickfaldo.com
For further details on The R&A, please visit: http://www.randa.org/
For further details on Laguna Lăng Cô, please visit: http://www.lagunalangco.com/golf/
For further details on the International Junior Golf Academy, please visit: https://ijga.com
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