12.49pm 26th November 2018 – Growing the Game – This story was updated on Monday, November 26th, 2018
A total of 65 junior golfers from 20 different countries are preparing for one of the biggest weeks of their golfing careers at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, where they will battle it out to be crowned Faldo Series European Champions.
Competitors will descend on the course this week for three days of intense competition, before the winners are crowned across five respective age and gender categories.
The Faldo Series Europe Grand Final is the culmination of a season-long event. The European Series began at Al Ain in March and since then 1,500 young hopefuls have competed across 14 qualifying events around the world, in their bid to return to the Abu Dhabi venue to have a chance to compete for one of junior golf’s most coveted prizes.
Amongst the field at this year’s European Grand Final are notable names including Slovakia’s Pavol Mach, Denmark’s Mikkel Mathiesen and England’s Josh Hill. The Dubai-born Englishman has put together a stellar 2018 season so far and will be looking to complete a remarkable double, adding the Faldo Series Europe title to the Faldo Series Middle East title he captured earlier this year.
In its 22nd year, the Faldo Series has become one of the most prestigious titles in junior golf. The event offers a rare opportunity for the very best juniors from each country to test themselves against their contemporaries from other nations, on some of the best courses in the world. Each stage is played on a pristine Championship course around Europe in the lead up to the Grand Final at Al Ain.
Many of the Faldo Series’ former players and winners have gone on to reach the very top level, including European Tour stars Jordan Smith, Oliver Fisher and Eddie Pepperell, LET and LPGA Tour player Melissa Reid, and, of course, four-time Major champion Rory McIlroy. Today, 40 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 30-plus countries worldwide, touching thousands of golfers each year.
Sir Nick Faldo, Founder of the Faldo Series, said: “The Faldo Series was one of the first initiatives I set up towards the end of my playing career, and I’m so proud of how it’s grown and evolved to become one of the stand-out events for junior golfers. We set out to create an event that all juniors would want, and aspire, to play. One that could prove to be an important role in their development, along with sharpening up their competitive mindset and preparing them for the future challenges they might face in trying to make it in professional golf. I think we’re well on our way to achieving our goals with the Series, and in the last 22 years we’ve seen some truly great players come through the ranks.”
He added: “I’ve kept a close eye on scoring this year, and from some of the numbers posted in the qualifying, I think we may have one of the most talented classes yet. I’m looking forward to meeting the competitors and welcoming them to Al Ain.”