Australian stalwart Adam Scott secured an unprecedented treble of victories at the Barclays Singapore Open on Monday. Scott, who returned this morning to complete 10 holes following a five and a half hour delay for thunderstorms on Sunday, sealed the deal with a stunning 10 feet curler for birdie on the final hole with a three-under-par 68 at the US$6 million event co sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Anders Hansen of Denmark posted a 68 for a 270 total, finishing three strokes behind Scott while Asian Tour rookie Rikard Karlberg of Sweden fired a last-gasp eagle on hole 18 for a 67 to share third place with Ryder Cup star Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland on matching 271s at the Sentosa Golf Club.
Korea’s Kang Kyung-nam, who was in contention in the third round, slipped to fifth place with a 272 total followed by Jamie Donaldson of Wales and flamboyant Englishman Ian Poulter, whose title aspirations was dashed after a double bogey on the 15th hole.
Scott turned in 33 with a three-stroke lead but fell behind with bogeys on holes 10 and 14. But the battling Australian returned strongly with two birdies in his closing four holes to emerge as the first player to win three Singapore Open titles.Bar
“It’s a new experience for me as it’s the first time I’ve won three times. I’m very proud to win the National Open and these are the kind of events that you dream of winning when you’re growing up as a kid,” said Scott, whose four-day winning total of 17-under-par 267 was worth US$1 million.
“I haven’t been putting my best lately and the demons started creeping in a little bit on the back nine. But fortunately I squashed them and made a good putt on 15. That gave me a little buffer and calmed me down for the last three,” he added.
The former world number three, winner of the tournament in 2005 and 2006, was delighted to finish the week on a high note in the tournament which was extended to a Monday finish.
“It feels great. It’s a relief to finally get finished. It’s been a long week and it was a bit of a grind this morning. It’s not an easy back nine to come out and play and I didn’t make it look that easy either, so I’m just happy to be done and be the winner again,” said the popular Australian.
Hansen, a three-time winner in Europe, was battling tooth-and-nail before missing a vital 20 footer birdie putt on the 15th hole.
“I thought if I had holed that one I would only be one behind with three to go and then you never know. But I missed it so the chance was gone. I then thought if I could finish birdie-eagle I might have another chance but it just didn’t happen. Adam is a great player and he thoroughly deserves his victory,” said Hansen.
Karlberg returned to complete nine holes with a flawless homeward nine highlighted by one birdie and one eagle to claim his best finish on the Asian Tour since winning the SAIL Open in India.
“The eagle on the last was huge. I just wanted to give it a shot and had a good read of the lie and putted perfectly with the right speed. It felt so good when the shot sank in. It’s so hard to describe what the week has been for me. I’m so tired but I’ve kept patient and most importantly I had a lot of fun,” said Karlberg.
Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand, a six-time Asian Tour champion, was a man on a mission when he returned this morning with two straight birdies on the 10th and 11th holes.
However, his round was derailed when he three putted for bogey on hole 12 followed by a wayward tee shot which found water and resulted in a double bogey.
“I was aiming to finish in the top-five but I still had a good placing and this will be a confidence booster in the coming weeks. Overall I’m happy with my performance after returning from injury and an appendix surgery but I need to practise on my putting,” said Prayad, who finished in tied 10th place with Chinese star Liang Wen-chong.