Manila, Philippines (November 29): Laia Barro will be bidding to complete a rare hat-trick when she tees-off in the 11th edition of the Faldo Series Philippines Championship.
In each of the past two years, Barro has savoured success in the Girls’ Under-16 category over the Faldo Course at Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club.
This week, Barro is aiming to make it three-in-a-row. Should she achieve that feat, she’ll guarantee herself a third successive trip to Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Central Vietnam for the 13th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo in March, 2019.
Not only will Barro have her eyes set on winning again at Eagle Ridge, but also on continuing the notable improvement in her scoring. When she triumphed in 2016, she posted a three-round aggregate of 264. Last year, her 54-hole total was 250.
Organised by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines (JGFP), this year’s Faldo Series Philippines Championship, the 11th leg of the 2018-19 Faldo Series Asia season, has attracted a 50-strong field.
A non-profit organisation dedicated to the growth and development of golf in the Philippines, it’s the mission of the JGFP to ‘provide junior golfers of all abilities with a competitive and fun environment that not only develops golf skills, but also positively builds their character’.
Six-time Major champion Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “My thanks once again go to the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines. They continue to do wonderful work in promoting the game for youngsters.”
As one of the first golf courses undertaken more than 20 years ago by Faldo Design, Eagle Ridge holds a special place in the heart of Faldo.
Located about 50 kilometres from the business district of Makati, it’s a naturally undulating course that calls for a strategic approach.
He said: “I believe we created an extremely playable and enjoyable golf course. I wanted to design a layout that would require thought and attention to every individual shot, a course that rewards and punishes in a fair and logical way.
“With demanding and occasionally spectacular bunkering throughout, our design at Eagle Ridge features a good variety of wide and tight fairways and greens that demand a variety of approach shots and a delicate touch.”
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 are being staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, 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 Thidapa Suwannapura (2010 Faldo Series Asia Grand Final Girls’ champion) and Nasa Hataoka (2016 Faldo Series Asia Grand Final Girls’ champion) have both won on the LPGA Tour this year.