(Al Ain, UAE) – Mikkel Mathiesen never gave up the lead from the first round to not only land the Under 16 boys title but also the Overall title at this year’s Faldo Series Middle East supported by Emirates Golf Federation.
All players that qualified for the Faldo Series Grand Final, (left to right) Matthew Faldo, Magdy Al Kholy, Christofer Rahm, Ryan Hunter, Mikkel Mathiesen, Kim Chiang, Alison Muirhead, Martine Garbutt, Eric Smith
Leading by 2 going into the final round, Mikkel carded a bogey free round of 69 (-2,) his 3rd consecutive 69, to win his division by an impressive 7 shots. “Today was much calmer winds” stated Mikkel at the end of his round, “I did not played as well as I did the first two days but thankfully I scrambled well, especially on the back 9. It was great to finish with a birdie at the last hole to secure my victory. I am looking forward to going to the Faldo Grand Final. This was an exciting opportunity to compete at the highest level as well as learning from Sir Nick Faldo.”
Dubai based Swedish Giant Christofer Rahm claimed a win in the Under 18 Boys division. After carding a 73 in the final round to win by 3 shots, Chris said, “You could feel the pressure between the players out there today. This caused us to make a few more errors than we had done in the first two days. I was happy with the way I battled and finally started to hit fairways and greens which was the difference in the end. It’s a huge tournament to win, and now I can look forward to the rest of the season and the Final.”
Ryan Hunter secured his place in the Grand Final by winning the Under 21 Boys division. The Yas Links Abu Dhbai member scored 74,71,74 to win by 3. “3 birdies in the last 4 hole helped” he said after securing the victory. “I have not played great this week but very happy the way I stuck to the task and got the job done. The opportunity that this victory gives me is priceless.”
Last year’s Under 18 Girls winner Kim Chiang made it a double victory this year. Leading from the first round, Sahana Paravantavida pushed her very hard in the final round, but a strong finish meant she lifted the trophy by 5 shots. “The conditions this year have been very tough, I feel I have played good and it has been a fantastic tournament hosted by AESGC. Last year’s experience helped me today and I look forward to going back and giving a good account of myself in the Final,” Stated Chiang.
The Under 21 Girls tournament saw the biggest turn around in the final round. Trailing by 4 shots, Scotland’s Dubai based Alison Muirhead, produced a scintillating round of level par. This included an eagle 2 at Hole 14 to win the division by 2 shots. “I putted poorly yesterday so last night I headed back to Dubai for a lesson from my coach Mark Gregson Walters, and thankfully it worked. I drove the ball well today putting pressure on my playing companions and it’s always good to hole a few nice putts. Alison now heads for to the Grand Final for the second time having won the Scottish qualifier last year.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) saw 8 National players compete in this year’s Faldo Series. The standout performance for the UAE went to Saeed Al Balooshi. Balooshi won the first place Net prize in Under 18 Boys with rounds of 76-65-66 for a three-day total of 207.
Also for the UAE Reema Al Heloo came in second place in the Under 16 Girls Net division and Mahmood Skaik took third in the Under 16 Boys Net division.
With 58 players in this year’s field the Faldo Series saw some of the best junior talent in the Middle East region. As a supporter of the event the Emirates Golf Federation is looking forward to the next two years as this event is a valuable opportunity for junior golf in the region.
Press Release by AEGSC, Edited by Emirates Golf Federation.