Low Scores Light Up Faldo Series Final in Middle East
The inaugural Faldo Series Grand Final in the Middle East - the 21st overall - was lit up during the opening day by Australia's Daniel Gale and England's Charlie Salter, who both shot 66 to edge ahead of the pack after an enthralling day.
57 talented golfers have assembled at AESGC in the UAE for the first ever Faldo Series Grand Final in the Middle East and the standard soon matched the expectation as spectators were treated to a high-quality first day. The players led the plaudits for the groundsmen as the course has been prepared to the highest of standards.
Whilst in Brisbane England’s cricketers wilted under the pressure of an Australian-England rivalry, here Englishman Charlie Salter matched Gale stroke-for-stroke. Both struggled on the second hole before turning on the style. Salter embarked on a run of five straight birdies to lay down a marker to the whole field. The back-nine however, belonged to Gale, who went home in just 31, to finish level overnight.
Co-leader Salter commented: ‘It was brilliant to start the competition strongly. After my double-bogey at the second I relaxed and things started to come good. I didn’t drive particularly well but I’m really pleased with my wedge game and I hit a few to twelve feet of the Pin. The course is absolutely immaculate and that helps to sink putts when the greens run so smooth.’
Daniel Gale experienced a dream practice round on Sunday as he and fellow competitors Nicola Slater and Amy Taylor played nine holes with Sir Nick Faldo. Preparing with a Six-time Major Champion paid immediate dividends for Daniel. All of the players will find something extra this week as Sir Nick ran a clinic for the players after play today to compliment the expert advice of his personal coach Keith Wood. Faldo enjoyed a captive audience as the players tapped into his vast knowledge of the game.
The expertise didn’t end there. Renowned sports psychologist Kjell Enhager spoke in length with the players. Enhager’s professional relationship with Sir Nick stretches back years and Faldo is clear on the importance of the mental side of the game. The players’ minds will be buzzing with new ideas and greater clarity for having listened to Enhager.
With a star-studded set of competitors in both the Boys’ and Girls’ division the leaders won’t be able to relax on day two tomorrow. The players have two more days of intense competition before the 21st Faldo Series Grand Final Champion can be crowned.
Leading final scores: Boys’ Under-21: 66 – Daniel Gale (AUS); 67 – Harry Butler (ENG), Nathan Longley (ENG). Boys’ Under 18: 66 – Charlie Salter (ENG); 68 – Arron Edwards-Hill (ENG). Boys’ Under 16: 69 – Napat Paramacharoenroj (THA); 70 – Andrey Borges Xavier (BRA). Girls’ Under 21: 71 – Jo-hua Hung (TAI); 72 – Jennifer Rankine (SCO), Gemma Allman (ENG), Nicola Slater (ENG). Girls’ Under 16: 69 – Patricie Mackova (CZE), Rivekka Dzhumagulova (RUS); 71 – Cameron Neilson (SCO).
Full scores from the 21st Faldo Series Europe Grand Final can be found here. You can also follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faldoseries and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/faldoseries.
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