Horne eclipses stars #SingOpen

Thu 28 Jan 2016

Horne eclipses stars #SingOpen

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Sentosa, Singapore, January 28: South Africa’s Keith Horne upstaged the tournament’s stars by firing an opening five-under-par 66 to grab the clubhouse lead at the US$1 million SMBC Singapore Open which was suspended due to lightning threats on Thursday.
The 44-year-old, who is still searching for his maiden victory on the Asian Tour, mixed his card with seven birdies and two
Berry Henson of USA Berry Henson of USA
bogeys to take a one-shot advantage over Korea’s Byeonghun An and world number one Jordan Spieth of the United States after the duo returned with matching 67s.
American Berry Henson, a one-time Asian Tour winner, was five-under through 17 holes while Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul lurked closely behind at four-under after 14 holes before play was brought to a halt for the second time at 6.39pm (local time) because of lightning activities around the Serapong course at Sentosa Golf Club.
A total of 57 players will resume their first round rounds at 7.30am with the second round scheduled to commence at 8.10am.
Horne narrowly kept his playing status on the Asian Tour by finishing in 59th place on the Order of Merit last season. However the South African’s return to the Sentosa Golf Club has brought back the early cheers and sparkle to his game.
“I’m really happy with my result today as I haven’t played here for a couple of years. But whenever I do come over here, I generally play well,” said Horne.
“So it’s nice to renew my friendship with the golf course. I had a bit of a walkabout in the middle of the round but then I also had a good run coming in,” he added.
Jordan Spieth of the United States Jordan Spieth of the United States
Horne credited his driver and short game for putting him into an advantageous position at the Singapore showpiece. He was also pleased to have outshone the tournament’s marquee names, almost half his age.
“I think they (Spieth and An) were just born when I turned professional so it’s always nice when you play well and get off to a great start. I putted great today which was important. I put a new driver in the bag today and I hit it so far and straight and that made a huge difference,” said Horne.
Spieth showed no signs of nerves despite playing at the Serapong course for the first time. He enjoyed a bogey-free run highlighted by an opening 20-footer birdie putt.
“My speed control was great, with no three putts, I had a lot of putts over 30 feet today, I know I was not hitting it close enough but I managed to hit the fairway to a good number and get onto the greens where I just need to two-putt. It was pretty stress free and but there were no real opportunities,” said Spieth.
An, voted Europe’s Rookie of the Year, braved the heat and humidity to put up a strong performance that underscores his status as the world number 26.
“I think it’s too hot. I wished it was cooler but you know, I cannot have any complaints as there was no rain and the winds were fairly calm today.
“I definitely didn’t leave any putts out there that’s for sure. Putted great and made all the putts I had to make. I didn’t really make any stupid mistakes today with my shots, so I was happy overall,” said An.
Byeonghun An of Korea Byeonghun An of Korea
Leading Scores after round 1 of the SMBC Singapore Open being played at the par 71, 7398 Yards Sentosa GC course (am - denotes amateur):
66 - Keith HORNE (RSA).
67 - Byeonghun An (KOR), Jordan SPIETH (USA).
68 - Hideto TANIHARA (JPN), Rahil GANGJEE (IND), Quincy QUEK (SIN), Paul PETERSON (USA).
69 - Prayad MARKSAENG (THA), Jinho CHOI (KOR), Scott STRANGE (AUS), Miguel TABUENA (PHI), Javi COLOMO (ESP), Chapchai NIRAT (THA).
70 - Shiv KAPUR (IND), Yuta IKEDA (JPN), Niall TURNER (IRL), Akio SADAKATA (JPN), Sanghyun PARK (KOR), Y. E. YANG (KOR), Himmat RAI (IND).
71 - Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA), Yusaku MIYAZATO (JPN), S.S.P CHAWRASIA (IND), LIANG Wen-chong (CHN), Jason KNUTZON (USA), Jbe KRUGER (RSA), LU Wei-chih (TPE), Gregory FOO (am, SIN), Brad KENNEDY (AUS).
Selected scores
74 - Darren CLARKE (NIR), Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA)
Ends.
About Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)
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 About the Singapore Golf Association
The Singapore Golf Association was registered on 5 October 1961 with the objective of encouraging and promoting the game of golf in Singapore. From a small association of golf clubs, SGA has grown to its present size comprising 13 Ordinary Members, 10 Associate Members and 5 Affiliate Members.  Its constitution was amended in 2001 to enable golf clubs without real estate to join SGA as Associate Members. This allowed the general golfing public to obtain and maintain a golf handicap without having to be members of golf and country clubs.  In 2010, the constitution was again amended to accept Affiliate Members which are any body, society, organisation or commercial entity committed to furthering the interest of the sport of golf to join SGA. SGA is a member of the International Golf Federation, Asia Pacific Golf Confederation and ASEAN Golf Federation.  As the governing body of golf, it is also an Affiliate Member of the Singapore Sports Council and the Singapore National Olympic Council.
About the Japan Golf Tour Organization
Originally founded in 1999, the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO) is the governing body for professional golf tournaments in Japan and aims to promote and develop golf throughout both Japan and the rest of the world. The JGTO is committed to partnering with new promoters and sponsors to develop more opportunities for their members to play and increase golfing standards.  As a member of the International Federation, official events on the Japan Golf Tour allow players to earn World Ranking points, and success on the tour may support members to qualify for the majors and WGC tournaments.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.
About Sentosa Golf Club
One of the most established golf clubs in Singapore, Sentosa Golf Club has more than 1,500 members, many of whom are prominent personalities from influential circles. It hosted Asia’s richest national tournament, the Singapore Open for eight years, where international star players and world-class golf professionals from Asia, Europe and the USA descended on its championship greens to putt for the generous prize purse. Offering more than just a good game of golf, the Club also has excellent meeting and banquet facilities for corporate networking as well as high-end dining options such as the quintessential Japanese cuisine at the Sushi Kondo Restaurant and Italian fare at the highly-acclaimed ilLido restaurant.