Canterbury teenager earns start in Faldo series final
Canterbury golfer Hiroki Miya has earned a start in one of the world’s best tournaments for juniors.
Miya won the Asian regional final of the Faldo series in Vietnam last month which means he will get to play in the Faldo Grand Final in Europe in November. The actual venue has yet to be confirmed.
Miya, from the Russley Golf Club in Christchurch, won the under-18 boys title in Vietnam by an emphatic 12 shots.
After equaling his own lowest score of 64 in the first round of the event, Miya had a few difficulties in the last nine holes of round two, posting a level par round of 71, and dropping to second overall.
There was plenty of drama along the way but perhaps the highlight for Miya was his par save on day one at the par-four 10th that he will long remember.
With one of his few false strokes, Miya had pulled his approach shot at the 409-yard dog-leg into the ditch short of the green. Although his ball came to rest on a patch of dry mud, in order to execute the 50-yard shot Miya had to take off his shoes and socks and wade into foot-deep mud.
"I considered taking a penalty drop, but eventually decided to give it a go," said Miya, who made clean contact and watched with delight as his ball stopped two feet from the flag. He duly tapped-in for a par that felt like a birdie.
A solid round of two under par 69 on the final day secured his age grade title, conceding the overall title to the form player of the tournament, Suzuka Yamaguchi from Japan.
Meanwhile two other Kiwi’s also acquitted themselves well with Kazuma Kobori (Rangiora Golf Club) finishing fourth in the under-16 boys' grade and Juliana Hung (Russley) also finished fourth in the under-16 girls’ grade.