Faldo makes rare European Tour appearance in Hong Kong

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SINGAPORE, Oct 25 (Reuters) Captain Nick Faldo can cast an eye over potential candidates for his 2008 Ryder Cup team when he makes a rare appearance on the European Tour at next month's Hong Kong Open.

The six-times major champion has been invited as a special guest of the tournament sponsors to take on an ''ambassadorial'' role at the November 15-18 event in Fanling.

In addition to his playing commitments, Faldo will spend time coaching Hong Kong's brightest junior players including those involved in the Faldo Series Asia, his charitable initiative aimed at developing the champions of tomorrow.

''There are likely to be players in the field who have come through the Faldo Series, in Europe and Asia, so it will be rewarding to see them first-hand and exciting to see the high standard of other young Asian golfers,'' Faldo said in a news release yesterday.

In only its second season, the Faldo Series Asia operates 11 tournaments in nine different countries across the region and ends in the final at Mission Hills, China on December 12-14.

Faldo has fond memories of Fanling, having shot a third-round 62, a course record at the time, on the way to winning the inaugural Johnnie Walker Classic in 1990.

The 50-year-old Briton, who spends much of his time working as a golf commentator on U.S. television, will be making only his third European Tour appearance of the year.

The 49th edition of the Hong Kong Open features a strong international field including South Africans Retief Goosen and Trevor Immelman, Mike Weir of Canada, South Korean KJ Choi and Australia's Stuart Appleby.

REUTERS BJR BD1347

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