Singapore (December 12): Continuing a rich vein of recent form, Sean Lee swept to victory at the 14th Faldo Series Singapore Championship.
Living up to his billing as pre-tournament favourite, Lee proved too strong for his rivals in the 10th event of the 2019-20 Faldo Series Asia season, staged in conjunction with the second leg of the Singapore Golf Association’s 2019 HSBC Youth Golf Challenge.
Rounds of 72, 71 and an accomplished closing five-under-par 67 at the National Service Resort & Country Club’s (NSRCC) Kranji Sanctuary Golf Course gave Lee a four-stroke success from Daryl Low in the overall standings and a 12-shot winning margin in the Boys’ Under-21 category.
It also completed back-to-back triumphs for the Anglo Chinese School (Independent) student who beat a strong international field at last week’s Singapore Island Country Club/DBS Junior Invitational Golf Championship.
“It’s been a good two weeks for me,” said the 16-year-old Singapore National Squad member, who attributed an upswing in fortunes to a marked improvement in his short game. “I’ve been working on my putting and it’s been paying off,” added Lee, after negotiating the back nine in four-under 32 for the second day in succession.
Next on the agenda for Lee is the Pondok Indah International Junior Championship in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta next week. That will be followed by a golfing-free family break in Shanghai and then preparations for the prestigious Australian Men’s Amateur Championship at Brisbane’s Royal Queensland Golf Club in mid-January.
Also on his radar is a return to Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Central Vietnam for the 14th edition of the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo in March, 2020.
“I’m looking forward to that – and hoping to get off to a better start this time,” said Lee, referring to his opening round 81 in the 13th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final. Despite bettering par in the next two rounds, the damage had been done. That he climbed into fifth place in the Boys’ Under-16 Division was testament to his determination.
Also flying the flag for Singapore in next year’s Vietnam showpiece will be Shayne Lim (Girls’ Under-21 winner), Jillian Kuk (Girls’ Under-16 winner) and Daryl Low (Boys’ Under-16 winner).
Low, runner-up to Lee in the Under-16 segment in Singapore last year, signed off in style, making birdies at the final two holes to record a 68, while Lim saw off the challenge of Ashley Goh to take top prize among the elder girls.
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 a series of qualifiers in Thailand, the FSA schedule includes two 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 Singapore Championship, leading final scores: Boys’ Under-21 Division: 210 – Sean Lee (72-71-67). 222 – Ng Wei Jun (72-72-78). 225 – Yap Zhe Rong (74-71-80). 229 – Aidil Nor Amani Norazman (76-74-79). Boys’ Under-16 Division: 214 – Daryl Low (73-73-68). 228 – Trevor Ng (76-78-74). 230 – Irvyn Tan (72-76-82). 233 – Atiksh Gupta (77-73-83). 238 – Ryan Ng Jin Hui (81-79-78). Girls’ Under-21 Division: 234 – Shayne Lim (80-78-76). 239 – Ashley Goh Jin Yu (82-76-81). 263 – Joelle Tang Sook Wai (88-82-93). Girls’ Under-16 Division: 227 – Jillian Kuk (75-73-79). 235 – Gwen Tan Xin Kai (80-74-81). 236 – Jaymie Ng (77-79-80). 255 – Kimiko Ang Jianing (79-86-90).