Jakarta, January 8 - Highly-rated teenager Tirto Tamardi will be the player to beat when the eighth edition of the Faldo Series Indonesia Championship tees-off this weekend.
Following a succession of outstanding performances alongside the region’s leading professionals in recent months, the 15-year-old from Surabaya is already being touted as a star of the future.
But Tamardi’s immediate focus is simply to retain the Faldo Series Indonesia Championship title he won at a canter last year.
Since his seven-stroke success over Damai Indah Golf’s BSD Course in West Java exactly 12 months ago, Tamardi has enjoyed a memorable sequence.
Among the many highlights were a top-10 finish in September’s PGM MNRB Sarawak Championship, an Asian Development Tour event featuring a host of seasoned Asian professionals.
Tamardi also had the distinction of being one of only two amateurs to make the half-way cut in last month’s Bank BRI Indonesia Open, a fully-fledged Asian Tour event won by Irishman Padraig Harrington over Damai Indah’s PIK Course.
Those experiences are sure to stand Tamardi in good stead as he attempts to secure a return trip to Mission Hills China for the ninth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo in March.
Tamardi will certainly be drawing on the memory of his brilliant performance last year when an opening nine-under-par 63 set him on course for a runaway victory.
He said: “Winning tournaments will always be the best experience. The one that I won’t forget was when I won the Faldo Series Indonesia last year. I had the lowest scores and that was one of the greatest experiences for me.”
Speaking ahead of the 18th leg of the record-breaking 2014-2015 Faldo Series Asia season, six-time Major championship winner Sir Nick, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “Tirto is clearly a talented player who has already proved that he has both the game and the temperament to succeed.
“I will be following closely his progress at Damai Indah in what promises to be another exciting tournament.”
Supported by The R&A and Mission Hills and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2014-15 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months and is made up of 19 championships.
Recognised as the only global amateur series for boys and girls, the Faldo Series was established in 1996, expanding to Asia in 2006.
Today, 40 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 30-plus countries worldwide, touching more than 7,000 golfers each year. Past winners include Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, who took his tally of professional Major titles to four with his wins at last year’s Open Championship and US PGA Championship.