Jakarta, Indonesia (March 8): Disappointment has turned to delight for rising Indonesian star Naraadjie Emerald Ramadhan.
The 16-year-old produced one of the finest performances of his fledgling career in last month’s Faldo Series Indonesia Championship when he fired a stunning final round of nine-under-par 63 at Damai Indah Golf’s BSD Course in West Java.
However, despite sharing top spot on the leaderboard after the regulation 54 holes, Ramadhan suffered the anguish of being edged out by Jonathan Wijono in a sudden-death play-off.
It also meant he missed out on an invitation to the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Central Vietnam.
But thanks to the intervention of tournament founder Sir Nick Faldo, Ramadhan is now preparing to join the Indonesian contingent for next week’s Grand Final.
Sir Nick, who will host the event at the award-winning Laguna Lăng Cô course that he sculpted, said the low-scoring feats at the Faldo Series Indonesia Championship – the 21st and final leg of the record-breaking 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia season – caught his attention.
“Such is the quality of the young players who take part in the Faldo Series that we routinely see sub-par scores,” said Sir Nick. “But for two players to post 20-under-par for three rounds was quite exceptional. That’s outstanding scoring at any level of golf – and one of the lowest totals we’ve seen in the 11-year history of the Faldo Series Asia.
“I can imagine how disappointing it must have been for Naraadjie to play so well and yet be beaten in a play-off by Jonathan.
“In view of his performance and scoring I felt it was only right to offer Naraadjie a wild card entry to the Grand Final. After his effort at Damai Indah he deserves the chance to test himself against many of the region’s most talented young golfers.
“I look forward to welcoming him and his Indonesian colleagues to Laguna Lăng Cô next week. As the Faldo Series Asia enters its second decade we’re still waiting for our first Indonesian winner. It would be wonderful if Naraadjie and Jonathan can be in contention at Laguna Lăng Cô.”
Supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia campaign has stretched over 11 months.
As well as two events in China, India and Thailand, championships were 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.