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SAMUELS OF ENGLAND CROWNED FALDO SERIES CHAMPION 2011
16th September 2011

WINS FOR ENGLAND, IRELAND AND SLOVAKIA IN GLOBAL FIELD

Gavin Samuels of England fired a brilliant final-round 68 to come from six shots behind and win the fifteenth Faldo Series Grand Final at Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland. England's Brogan Townend won the girls' title while players from Slovakia and Ireland were also among the winners.

Gavin Samuels of England with Sir Nick Faldo during the fifteenth Faldo Series Grand Final at Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland.

"This is by far my biggest achievement in golf," said a delighted Samuels. "I won the Faldo Commemoration Jug in Sir Nick's hometown of Welwyn Garden City this season and now I've spent time with him and won his Series title. It's an amazing connection and an unbelievable feeling. Nick just phoned my dad to tell him the good news."

"Gavin is a worthy champion having beaten the weather and our strongest field ever," said Faldo. "All the players benefitted from the experience this week and the visit from our Major Champion Rory McIlroy. I hope they enjoyed themselves, I certainly did."

"Lough Erne Resort is a special place and I am grateful to them and to The R&A and the European Tour for their support," added the six-time Major Champion. "It is this kind of support which allows us to provide opportunity to the finalists this week and to the 5,000 golfers who take part in the Series worldwide each year."

20-year-old Samuels (Leighton Buzzard) carded eight birdies in a four-under-par 68 to finish on six over and five ahead of English duo Cameron Long and Adam Andrews. Overnight leader Jordan Smith, 18, who started five ahead of the field and six ahead of Samuels, struggled to an 80 and finished fourth.

17-year-old Townend (Pleasington) was crowned Faldo Series Girls' Champion following an impressive final round 71. Natalia Heckova (Welten), 15, finished two shots behind to win the Girls' Under-16 title and become the first champion from Slovakia. Ireland's Gavin Moynihan (The Island) led the local challenge to take the Boys' Under-18 title. Overall runner-up Long (Drayton Park) was crowned winner of the Boys' Under-16 division.

Faldo Series Champions Samuels and Townend will be offered a start in a professional Tour event. They will also be invited by Faldo to the sixth Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in China next March, as will Moynihan, Long and Heckova.

During the Grand Final, competitors attended clinics with Faldo and past winner Rory McIlroy. More than 30 local schoolchildren also visited Lough Erne to meet Faldo and enjoy an introduction to golf.

A field of 77 players competed on the Faldo Course at Lough Erne. 16 different countries were represented by some of the world's top young golfers, boys and girls, aged 13 to 21.

Winners of 17 Faldo Series Europe events in 11 different countries across Europe and South America, plus three qualifiers from Asia, were in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland for the World Amateur Golf Ranking event.

Established in 1996, 35 Faldo Series tournaments now take place in 25 countries worldwide. Other past winners include Yani Tseng, Nick Dougherty and Oliver Fisher.

The Faldo Series Europe schedule covers England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Czech Republic, Russia, Greece, The Netherlands, Brazil, Germany and Slovakia. The Faldo Series Asia, supported by The R&A, ISPS, Mission Hills and UFL, visits a further 13 countries, including five tournaments in mainland China.

Leading final scores: Boys' Under-21: 222 - Gavin Samuels (Eng) 76-78-68; 227 - Adam Andrews (Eng) 76-77-74. Boys' Under-18: 229 - Gavin Moynihan (Ire) 79-75-75; 231 - Jack Colegate (Eng) 82-74-75. Boys' Under-16: 227 - Cameron Long (Eng) 79-78-70; 233 - Ben Robinson (Eng) 76-82-75. Girls' Under-21: 230 - Brogan Townend (Eng) 79-80-71; 235 - Meghan MacLaren (Eng) 81-81-73, Stephanie McEvoy (Eng) 84-76-75. Girls' Under-16: 232 - Natalia Heckova (Svk) 79-78-75; 233 - Amber Ratcliffe (Eng) 80-78-75.

For final scores and results from the Faldo Series Grand Final visit www.faldoseries.info .

For more information on the Faldo Series visit www.nickfaldo.com . 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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Photo caption: Gavin Samuels of England with Sir Nick Faldo during the fifteenth Faldo Series Grand Final at Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland.









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