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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Vietnamese Stars Set to Shine: 15th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final Returns!

Vietnam’s junior golf stars will be seeking to ensure recent history repeats itself when the 15th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final returns to Laguna Lang Co at the end of April.

The final, the culmination of the Asia leg of the world’s most celebrated junior circuits, will see the best young golfers from around the region battle it out over the award-winning Sir Nick Faldo Signature Design at Laguna Golf Lang Co for the crown of Faldo Series Asia champion.

“I could not be more excited to be returning to Central Vietnam for another Faldo Series Asia Grand Final”, said Faldo, who attends Faldo Series Grand Final events and will jet into Vietnam in April 2024. “I expect nothing short of a thrilling showdown. The course always produces a spectacular showcase, and I’m excited to welcome back all the players for what I expect to be a truly memorable occasion.”

The concluding leaderboard at last year’s event had a decidedly local flavour. A final round of 67 saw homegrown hero Nguyen Anh Minh take top honours. Minh made history by becoming the first Vietnamese to emerge as the Faldo Series Asia Champion. He’ll return in April to defend his title.

Further back, Vietnamese youngster Le Khanh Hung was tied for third place. Other Vietnamese in the top ten were Nguyen Dang Minh (8th) and Nguyen Duc Son (9th).

The strong showing by young local stars reflects increased domestic engagement with the game. And Minh and his fellow Vietnamese competitors will return to the spotlight at the end of April as they attempt to replicate the successes of last year.

“Support for the junior game in Vietnam and throughout Asia is an integral part of our philosophy. It’s reflected in our long-term status as the home hub for the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.” said Stephen Banks, Director of Golf at Laguna Lang Co.

“Therefore, it was brilliant to see a Vietnamese Champion and strong performances from other Vietnamese juniors last year. It’s going to be fascinating to see if they can repeat that performance this time around.”

Indeed, Banks — a long-term accredited PGA member — is helping local kids at Loc Vinh school embark on a golf journey by way of fun coaching sessions. Alongside fellow Golf Operations associates, he guides children on golf basics using the SNAG Golf System, which utilizes tennis-style golf balls and targets for fun, effective and fast skills development. The children can then meet Sir Nick Faldo during the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final event at the scheduled group coaching sessions.

“The future of golf in Vietnam is in the hands of the juniors, and we are determined to help their development,” said Banks.

Inaugurated by Sir Nick Faldo after his victory at the 1996 US Masters, the Faldo Series is recognized as the only global amateur series for boys and girls. Competitors from ages 7 to 25 can test themselves against the very best juniors around the world.

The Series has been a proven success as a pathway for players to reach the top levels of the game, with over 70 Faldo Series competitors now playing on professional tours. Notable alumni include Major winners Rory McIlroy, Danny Willet and Yani Tseng, as well as other familiar names including Tyrell Hatton, Joaquin Niemann, Eddie Pepperell, Li Haotong, Mel Reid, Carly Booth, and Nasa Hataoka.

The global junior series expanded into Asia in 2006, recognising the huge potential on the Asian junior golf circuit. Since then, Laguna Lang Co has played a central role in the initiative as the host venue for the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final: a reflection of its status as a Sir Nick Faldo Signature course, an elite category among Faldo Designs.

The golf course is part of Asia’s most far-reaching integrated resorts, one that also encompasses award-winning hotels Banyan Tree Lang Co and Angsana Lang Co. 2024 is a milestone year as the resort ownership company, Singapore-headquartered Banyan Group, marks its 30th anniversary at the pinnacle of Asia’s hospitality industry. The club is also an integral part of the Vietnam Golf Coast, a destination marketing effort linking signature golf courses in Central Vietnam.

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