​​​​​​Junior Presidents Cup Call-Up for Ex-Faldo Series Asia Grand Finalist 2019-10-23

Kartik Sharma teeing-off at the 2017 Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.

Melbourne, Australia (October 22): Former Faldo Series Asia Grand Final representative Kartik Sharma will fly the flag for India as a member of the International Team at the 2019 Junior Presidents Cup.

Based on The R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), the 18-year-old left-hander has secured his spot for the second edition of the team match play event against America, to be held at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in December.

The Junior Presidents Cup, which will kick off Presidents Cup week on December 8, consists of six four-ball matches followed by six foursomes matches on the opening day. The event concludes with 12 singles matches on the morning of day two.

“Congratulations to Kartik on making the International Team,” said Sir Nick Faldo, who first encountered Sharma in early 2017 at the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Vietnam’s Laguna Lăng Cô.

“He struck me then as a confident young player who was not short on self-belief,” said six-time Major champion Faldo, Founder of the Faldo Series.

Thanks to a second-day 67, Sharma headed into the final round just one stroke behind pace-setting Thai Napat ‘Toy’ Paramacharoenroj. Although he finished third behind Napat and Indonesian Jonathan Wijono in the Boys’ Under-16 category, Sharma showed he had the ability to compete at a high level.

Since then, his game has matured considerably, highlighted by victory in the Indian Golf Union’s Western India Amateur Championship last year and a breakthrough international triumph in the New South Wales Amateur Championship at Terrey Hills, north of Sydney, at the start of 2019.

“Starting the year, I had it as one of my goals to win an event internationally. People were asking me if it was achievable and I knew it was because I know what I am capable of. I thought I could win and it feels great to have won this event,” said Sharma, who has been playing golf for India since the age of 10.

For Sharma, that Australian success and an appearance at the Junior Presidents Cup are further steps along the path to fairway fame and fortune.

After winning the Western India Amateur, he was asked about his hopes and expectations for the future. His response was stark. “Five years from now I see myself as one of the top players in Europe ... and winning The Open Championship,” said Sharma, currently 202nd on the WAGR.

Led by nine-time PGA Tour winner and five-time Presidents Cup participant Stuart Appleby, the Junior International Team, in addition to Sharma, includes five players from South Africa, two each from Australia and China and one apiece from Chinese Taipei and Korea.

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.