Hiroki Miya (Russley Golf Club) has successfully defended his Faldo Series New Zealand Championship title and will once again be travelling to the Nick Faldo designed Laguna Lang Co golf course in Danang, Vietnam in early March 2018 to contest the Faldo Series Asia Championship title. The 17-year-old was the stand out player of the tournament posting the tournament low rounds of 68 in both his opening and closing rounds of the 54 hole event, which combined with his second round of 71 left him 9 under par with a final total of 207. Miya was 7 shots clear of second placed Amelia Garvey (Kaiapoi Golf Club) who finished on 214 to reclaim her title as the Faldo Series New Zealand Girls Champion in what has been an outstanding year for her golf.
Miya and Garvey were the only players to finish the 54 hole event under par as the three rounds were contested over the full range of weather conditions, which is a strong indication of their collective shot making ability. Like Miya, Garvey will hope to return to Vietnam and claim a Faldo Series Asia regional title, having lost out to a countback in the finals held in March 2017. The reward for success in the Asian regional finals includes a trip to Europe to compete in further Faldo events for the age grade winners.
Both Miya and Garvey will be able to provide insight and support to the other winner on the day, Kazuma Kobori (Rangiora Golf Club) who came from started the day with a one shot deficit to the 36 hole leader, Oliver Merritt. Kobori posted a solid final round of 73 whilst Merritt slipped in form to record an 82, leaving Kobori to win his age grade by 2 shots from Hayato Miya (Hiroki’s younger brother). Kobori is another Canterbury player enjoying a strong year with a win in Australia in September to claim the 2017 Victorian Boys Championship.
Andrew Bell, General Manager of Clearwater Golf Club, was quick to praise the success of the Canterbury trio in a field of golfers drawn from throughout New Zealand. “This year’s contest brought together our lowest ever handicap range of young players, and involved players from more clubs from throughout New Zealand than previous years. I am very pleased for Rachel Thow at Canterbury Golf who works so hard to get our young golfers out on course and into the game, as well as working on the high performance development as needed.”
Bell also thanked the events principal sponsors Todd and Marion Heller who, along with two other Clearwater members were supporters of the first event 4 years ago, and have again provided support to ensure the winners can travel to Vietnam.
“We are very grateful to Todd and Marion for their support, along with that of New Zealand Golf Inc. This investment in Canterbury junior golf and this event is something that Todd and Marion do out of pure generosity.”
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.