VN Teens burst onto regional
Stage, gain Faldo Series Final
PHAN THIET, Vietnam (01 September 2011) — Ocean Dunes Golf Club provided a fitting stage for some of Vietnam’s most talented teens, when it hosted an epic installment of Asia’s premier junior circuit earlier this month.
The Phan Thiet course, laid out hard by the East Sea, has witnessed numerous championship occasions during its long reign among the country’s top golfing venues — Ocean Dunes GC is, after all, the only course ever to host the Vietnam Open (http://www.oceandunesgolf.com). Nevertheless, this month’s staging of the Vietnam leg of the Faldo Series Asia is destined to be recalled with particular regard, considering the precocious performances of two rising stars.
The overall winner of the two-day tournament, which doubled up as the Vietnam National Junior Championship (organised by the Vietnam Golf Association), was 13-year-old Truong Chi Quan who belied his tender years by posting a formidable winning score of 152. As a reward for his display, the youngster, from Long Thanh, just outside Ho Chi Minh City, will vie with youngsters from around the continent at the Asian final of the Faldo Series, which takes place at the Mission Hills complex in Shenzhen, China in March 2012.
Also Mission Hills-bound are Do Le Gia Dat, winner of the boys’ under-21 category, Dao Phuc Hung, runner-up to Truong in the boys’ under-16 category, and Ngo Bao Nghi, who won the girls’ under-21 category.
Fourteen-year-old Le Tram Anh Kristin, who won the girls’ under-16 event, won’t be joining them in China, however, due to the fact that she is an American and not a Vietnamese citizen. However, the youngster, who lives in Hawaii, wowed spectators at Ocean Dunes with a nerveless display in her category.
“It was an absolute treat to watch these kids play,” says Glenn Cassells, Ocean Dunes General Manager. “Le Tram Anh Kristin especially looked an extraordinary talent. There’s always a danger in heaping too much pressure on young shoulders but if she progresses in the way she is obviously capable of, her potential is frightening.
“Truong, too, can be extremely proud of himself. Winning a tournament like this at the age of 13 is no mean feat. Indeed, the all-round high quality witnessed really bodes well for the future of Vietnamese golf.”
The success of the tournament provided further vindication, if any was needed, of Ocean Dunes’ status as one of Vietnam’s premier championship venues. The coastal layout, which forms one half of the Golf the Beach consortium along with the challenging Sea Links course in nearby Mui Ne, celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Its forthcoming packed calendar is testament to its enduring appeal to tournament organisers.
Ocean Dunes has established itself as one of the ‘must-play’ destinations in Asia since opening in 1996 and the challenge presented by the Nick Faldo-designed course remains as fresh and visceral as ever. Meanwhile its attached hotel, the 4-star Novotel Phan Thiet, provides a compelling option for staying onsite.
Several eye-catching dates are pencilled into the calendar for forthcoming months. The club plays host to members of the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam and their guests for a Norcham event.
Binh Thuan Golf Association will hold its annual event at Ocean Dunes while the club will mark its own anniversary with a special tournament.
Arguably the most eye-catching of the scheduled occasions, however, is the Vietnam Open Golf Championship – one of the longest running annual tournaments in the country.
“Once again, it’s a sign that we are doing something right,” says Cassells of the forthcoming events. “We’re lucky in that we’ve got a great product here with the golf course and the hotel. Not only that, but we’re right by the ocean in a beautiful part of the world. Why wouldn’t you want to stage a tournament here?”