Masters champion Sergio Garcia put on a masterful display as he carded a closing three-under-par 68 to romp to a five-shot victory at the US$1 million SMBC Singapore Open.
The charismatic Spaniard built his one-shot lead at the start of round four into a five-shot advantage after nine holes on Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course. Garcia’s day got off to a great start as he birdied the first hole and made two more on holes seven and eight. He then switched to cruise control for the remainder of the round, carding nine consecutive pars to close with a total of 14-under-par 270.
A final-round 71 earned Satoshi Kodaira of Japan a share of second place with South African Shaun Norris, who closed with a 70.
“It’s always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren’t easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum,” said Garcia.
Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand gave himself an outside chance of winning the tournament after carding 68 and 66 in rounds two and three respectively. The 22-year-old could not sustain his mid-tournament form and closed with a 71. He finished tied-fourth with compatriot Danthai Boonma, with the duo earning spots at this year’s Open Championship (the tournament is part of The Open Qualifying Series with four players who finish inside the top-12 and ties, who are not already exempt, earning places at Carnoustie this July 19-22).
Danthai, 21, sizzled in round three with a 65 to lead the tournament at the end of Saturday before play was suspended due to bad weather. However, he could not bring his momentum to round four and closed with 73.
Sean Crocker of the United States and Cameron Davis of Australia carded 69 and 70 respectively to finish in tied-fifth. With Davis already exempt, Crocker will take up the third Open spot.
The final spot to The Open went to Lucas Herbert of Australia, who finished tied-eighth with Malaysia’s Gavin Green, Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena and United States’ Berry Henson. Herbert got the nod because of his higher position on the Official World Golf Ranking. 2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Green is already exempt.
Green was satisfied with his performance, a redemption of sorts following last year’s event when he was in contention until a third round 82.
“It’s been a really long week but it’s been a good event, coming back from last year, the big 82. I made a couple of bad mistakes but it was still a good top-10 finish. I have been hitting it okay, I just need to get my irons a little sharper and hit more greens,” said Green, who plays in Dubai next week before returning to Kuala Lumpur for the Maybank Championship.
RESULTS (TOP 10 AND TIES)
270 – Sergio GARCIA (ESP) 66-70-66-68.
275 – Satoshi KODAIRA (JPN) 66-72-66-71, Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 69-67-69-70.
276 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 71-68-66-71, Danthai BOONMA (THA) 70-68-65-73.
277 – Sean CROCKER (USA) 71-70-67-69, Cameron DAVIS (AUS) 68-70-69-70.
278 – Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 71-69-68-70, Gavin GREEN (MAS) 71-67-69-71, Berry HENSON (USA) 70-72-71-65, Lucas HERBERT (AUS) 68-70-69-71.