England’s Steven Brown shot a level-par 72 in the final round to win the Faldo Series Grand Final 2008 at the Costa Do Sauipe Resort in Brazil.
Following rounds of 72 and 69, 21 year-old Brown’s final-round 72 in windy conditions gave him a three-under-par total of 213, four shots ahead of Scotland’s Andrew Wallace, who carded a 73, and overnight leader James Watts from England who struggled to a 79.
Having followed the final group over the closing holes, Nick Faldo presented Brown with the Under 21 trophy and the Harold Riley Prize for the Faldo Series champion, a title previously won by European Tour players Nick Dougherty and Oliver Fisher. Brown receives an invite to the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills in China and an amateur invite to the European Tour’s 2009 INTECO Russian Open.
After his win, Brown of Chobham in Surrey commented: “It’s been a really good week and I’ve enjoyed the whole trip. The hardest shot today was the first tee shot with the cameras there and Nick watching but after that I just blocked everything out and didn’t put any pressure on myself.  I’m really pleased to win. When I see the names on the trophy like Nick Dougherty and Oliver Fisher, it feels special and I just hope I can follow in their footsteps.
“Having Nick here is amazing. All the little things he says make such a difference because he’s been there and done it.  All of us would love to achieve what he has achieved.
“Now I’ll start preparing for the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final in China.  After that, hopefully this week’s R&A World Ranking points will help me get into some top amateur events next season. Also, playing in a European Tour event will be a great experience.”    
With 10 nations represented this week, players from outside the UK emerged at the top of the leader-board in their age categories: the Boys Under 18 division was won by India’s Rahul Bakshi with a total of 218; Brazil’s Rafael Becker claimed first place in the Boys U17 on 219; and Spain’s Adrian Otaegui finished on 225 for a win in the Boys U17.
The Boys U15 was won by England’s Thomas Clements with a score of 224 while Hannah Barwood, the current Ladies English Amateur Champion, finished top of the Girls U18 category by two shots on 230.
Six-time Major winner Faldo said: “I’ve been absolutely delighted with this year’s Faldo Series Grand Final.  It’s our first final in a new continent and we’ve received a great welcome and some very generous support. Steven played some excellent golf today in tough conditions and kept a cool head.  He’s a worthy winner of this year’s Faldo Series.
“I’m also pleased to see so many international players leading the way in their age categories. The Faldo Series is about helping as many young golfers in as many countries as possible so I feel we’re well on the way to achieving that goal.”
Following Faldo Series tournaments in more than 15 countries worldwide, 80 young golfers competed in Brazil this week. Supported by The R&A, the Faldo Series Grand Final 2008 was hosted by Costa Do Sauipe Golf Resort in Brazil’s Bahia region. Competitors aged 12 to 21 from countries as far afield as Iceland, Turkey, Russia and India joined this year’s UK qualifiers for three rounds of tournament golf.
Backed by Embratur, Golf Corporate Brazil and Bahiatursa, this was the first Faldo Series Grand Final to be held outside the UK, reflecting Nick Faldo’s bid to support the development of young golfers in as many countries as possible. Faldo spent time with the players throughout the week, passing on as much experience as possible from over 30 years of professional golf.
Visit the new Faldo Series website for further information.