James Maw defies weather to win Faldo Series event


James Maw produced some sparkling golf in difficult conditions to win the Faldo Series UK Championship at Moortown Golf Club in Leeds.

The Yorkshire County player from the Hallowes Golf Club in Sheffield put together rounds of 70 and 72 for a level par aggregate of 142 and a five-shot victory over Nathan Kimsey from Woodhall Spa.

The victory gives Maw a place in the 2010 Faldo Series Europe Grand Final to be played at the Lough Erne Resort, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, on September 21-23 where he will be joined by Kimsey (Boys Under-18), Prestbury's James Newton (Boys Under-16), Morecambe's Steven Chester (Boys Under-16), West End's Helen Searle (Girls Under-21) and Crosland Heath's Rochelle Morris (Girls Under-16) - all of whom won their age group titles at Moortown.

Maws opened the event with a fine one-under-par round of 70 which gave him a share of second place behind Silkstone's Dalton Richardson.

Richardson produced the only sub-70 round of the tournament during the opening round but he fell away with a second round 82 and that left Maw to close out the title with a solid 72 which never looked likely to be emulated on a day when strong wind made scoring extremely difficult.

"I'm delighted," said Maw. "I qualified for the Grand Final back in 2006 at Celtic Manor when I had a chance to play with Rory McIlroy so I know exactly what to expect at Lough Erne. It's going to be a great event. I am more experienced than I was in 2006 so I feel I will have a really good chance to win.

"The key to my performance was my putting," he added. "The greens at Moortown are very testing but I holed out extremely well."

The opening event of the 2010 Faldo Series Europe at Frilford Heath, Oxfordshire, featured three play-offs but this time there was no need for extra holes to decide the age group titles. Woodhall Spa's Nathan Kimsey produced rounds of 70 and 77 to claim a one-shot victory over Hessle's Paul Lockwood in the Under-18's section while in the Under-16's section James Newton's rounds of 70 and 82 were enough to give him a comprehensive four-shot victory over Ramside Hall's Kieran Ayre and Morecambe's Steven Chester.

The Girls events turned out to be somewhat similar with Helen Searle posting rounds of 77 and 86 to claim a five shot victory over Portpatrick's Gillian Monteith in the Under-21 section and Rochelle Morris dominating the Under-16's event after posting two impressive rounds of 76 and 79.

Morris was ecstatic at the prospect of teeing up at the Grand Final. "I'm gobsmacked," she said. "Today I tried hard to keep calm and focussed on hitting one shot at a time and it worked very well. I seemed to hole almost everything so that helped as well."

Sir Nick Faldo created the Faldo Series in 1996 to help develop tomorrow's champions and to date its former graduates include World No. 11 Rory McIlroy, who won the Under-15's and Under-17's titles in 2004 and 2006 respectively, Scottish World Cup winner Marc Warren, English European Tour stars Nick Dougherty and Oliver Fisher, LPGA Major winner Yani Tseng and rising Ladies' European Tour player Melissa Reid.

This year, the Faldo Series Europe and the Faldo Series Asia will attract over 5,000 boys and girls aged between 12 and 21 and will comprise more than 30 events in 25 countries throughout GB&I, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia, with the winners from all the qualifying events being invited to compete in either the European or Asian Grand Final.

For further information please visit www.nickfaldo.com.