Great Scott Enjoys Singapore Sling

Sun 11 Sep 2005

Great Scott Enjoys Singapore Sling

Singapore, September 11: Australian Adam Scott produced a virtuoso performance to lift the US$2 million Singapore Open title by seven strokes on Sunday and earn his third title of the year.

The 25-year-old Scott, the world number seven, carded a spectacular six-under-par 65 in the final round at Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong course, pocketing the champion's cheque of US$315,000 in Asia's richest national Open.

His winning total of 13-under-par 271 was well clear of second placed Lee Westwood of England, who signed off with a 68 and a tournament aggregate of 278. Asian Tour rookie Andrew Buckle was third on 279 while Asia's best placed finisher was Korea's Ted Oh, who ended on 281 after a 70.

Thai star Thongchai Jaidee regained the lead at the top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit with his fifth place finish in Sentosa, closing with a 74.

"It (Asia) has been great to me. I played a good round of golf this afternoon and there you go, I've got this big trophy over here, my first national championship too," beamed Scott, who won the Johnnie Walker Classic in Beijing in April.

"Anytime you win you are absolutely thrilled. This will probably have some special meaning to it when I look back at the end of my career. It's not just my first national Open, I hope there are a lot more to come. It's something special, whether it is the US, Australian or Singapore Open."

Scott's tremendous display in the championship, billed as the Asian Tour's 'Major' by the players, was a joy to watch. He returned early in the morning to complete four holes of his delayed third round and birdied three of them for a 67 and a one-shot lead going into the final round.

Under steamy conditions over the challenging Serapang course, which yielded only five under-par scores for the championship, the supremely talented Aussie enjoyed a glorious start to his final round. He nailed a tee shot to two feet at the par three second hole for an opening birdie and then drained a 20-footer at the next for a second birdie. Scott then belted a four iron approach to six feet on the par five fourth hole and converted the eagle putt for a five stroke advantage and never looked back.

"Today, I was smart and had a game plan. I seemed to execute just how I wanted to. It was an ideal final round for me. I got off to a bit of a flyer. It was the perfect start and it was going to make it really hard for anyone to come up and challenge," said Scott, who sank three birdies and a bogey on his inward nine.

"After that start it settled me down straight away. It was not easy but it gave me a bit of breathing space. It allowed me to free myself up. From about the fourth onwards I was really relaxed out there."

Ryder Cup star Westwood, who started the final round four back, picked up early birdies on the second and fourth holes but failed to keep the momentum going as Scott romped home. Still, the English star was pleased with his week's work under torrid conditions.

"It was nice to be there or there abouts. Adam played great and finished off strong this morning (in the third round). I couldn't imagine anyone getting to 13 under. I felt six under at the start of the week would have a chance. For me to be six under, I'm quite pleased," said Westwood.

"This event has great potential. The course is up to the standards of a major tournament and the prize purse is very big obviously and it's great. It's quite rightly the showcase event (in Asia)."

Australian Buckle picked up his biggest cheque yet of his career – US$121,000 – when he carded a final round 71. He had an eagle putt at the last to tie Westwood for second place but it slid by the cup.

"It is nice (to finish third) - I played pretty good and it was great to finish with a birdie. My eagle putt was tough and it rolled by. I hit a few loose shots but I hung in there. It was great experience playing the weekend with top players like Adam and Lee and it will stand me in good stead in the future," said Buckle.

Thongchai failed to launch his title charge, finding the treacherous Serapong rough regularly with errant drives. A birdie on four failed to ignite his game as he dropped shots on the fifth, eighth, 13th and 15th for a closing 74.

His consolation was a cheque of US$77,600, which propelled him to the top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit with a haul of US$346,420, just US$2,107 ahead of compatriot Thaworn Wiratchant, who settled for tied 45th place in Singapore.

"I had problems with my driver - on just about every hole I was going left. But I putted well and if it was not for that I would have been six over par. But I enjoyed the round and the tournament very much. Adam played very good and deserved to win," said Thongchai, who is last season's Asian Tour number one.

Leading final round scores

271 - Adam Scott (AUS) 70-69-67-65

278 - Lee Westwood (ENG) 71-71-68-68

279 - Andrew Buckle (AUS) 71-65-72-71

281 - Ted Oh (KOR) 69-70-72-70

282 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 67-73-68-74

284 - Anthony Kang (USA) 67-72-72-73, Mahal Pearce (NZL) 68-70-71-75

286 - Prom Meesawat (THA) 73-71-72-70, Nick O'Hern (AUS) 71-68-73-74, Edward Michaels (USA) 69-67-71-79

287 - Chapchai Nirat (THA) 67-74-74-72, Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 71-73-71-72

288 - Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 70-73-72-73

289 - Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 71-70-75-73, Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 74-69-72-74

290 - Lin Keng-chi (TPE) 72-71-75-72, Chawalit Plaphol (THA) 71-71-75-73, David Bransdon (AUS) 74-74-72-70, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 73-74-70-73, Alistair Presnell (AUS) 75-72-67-76

292 - Keith Horne (RSA) 71-77-73-71, Gerry Norquist (USA) 73-74-70-75

293 - Marcus Both (AUS) 69-72-77-75, Angelo Que (PHI) 69-79-71-74, Corey Harris (USA) 73-74-72-74, Sung Mao-Chang (TPE) 72-70-76-75, Frankie Minoza (PHI) 70-73-73-77