Taipei, Chinese Taipei: Shih Cheng-hsuan continued the proud tradition of Taiwanese female golfers by emerging victorious in the Faldo Series Chinese Taipei Championship.
Withstanding the challenge of fellow Asian Games squad member Chen Ling-jie, it was Shih who claimed top billing in the opening leg of the 2018-19 Faldo Series Asia season.
In the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking event, both players posted three-round aggregates of one-under-par 215 at the Tsai Hsing Elite Club. But thanks to a closing 68, Shih was awarded victory on a countback from Chen, who posted a 69.
It was a fascinating tussle between the duo, who are vying to win a coveted slot in the country’s team for August’s Asian Games in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
One date that Shih can confirm in her diary is for next March when she will lead the Chinese Taipei challenge in the 13th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Vietnam.
Girls from Chinese Taipei have fared exceptionally well in the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final over the past decade with Tsai Pei-ying, Hsieh Yu-ling (twice), Lin Tzu-chi, Liu Yi-chen, Cheng Ssu-chia and Hung Jo-hua all having had their names inscribed on the Overall Girls’ trophy.
In 2005 in Hong Kong, a rising star by the name of Tseng Ya-ni wrote her name into the record books as the first Faldo Series International trophy winner.
Joining Shih at the award-winning Faldo Design course in Danang will be Tseng Fu-tung (Boys’ Under-21 winner), Mako Shapiyate (Boys’ Under-18 winner), Willy Chan (Boys’ Under-16 winner) and Yeh Chia-ju (Girls’ Under-16 winner),
In the eldest age group section, Tseng had the distinction of finishing ahead of last year’s Faldo Series Chinese Taipei Championship winner Huang Kuan-hsun, while Shapiyate secured himself a return trip to Laguna Lăng Cô with an eight-stroke victory margin in the Boys’ Under-18 category, thanks largely to an opening 68, the joint best round of the week.
Last year, Shapiyate won the Boys’ Under-16 segment on home soil and went on to finish eighth among boys in his age group in the 12th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.
Six-time Major championship Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “Shih Cheng-hsuan’s win is a great way to start the 13th season of the Faldo Series Asia. It looks like once more we’ll have a strong Chinese Taipei representation in the Grand Final.”
The 2018-19 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 two events in China, India and Thailand, championships will be 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 champions include Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, both multiple Major winners.