Scott gunning for number four #SingOpen

Wed 18 Jan 2017

Scott gunning for number four #SingOpen

Els, Garcia and Scott at Madam Tussauds Singapore Els, Garcia and Scott at Madam Tussauds Singapore
Sentosa, Singapore, January 18: Australian Adam Scott clearly has everything going for him this week at the SMBC Singapore Open - 12 years after he first won the title here on the famous Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club.
The course, the country and over a decade of personal growth make him the hot favourite in the US$1million tournament, being jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation.
And at the age of 36, Scott is arguably in his golfing prime. Winning more Majors is his priority but for the moment the SMBC Singapore Open is his target and few will bet against him lifting the trophy for a fourth time.
South African Ernie Els together with Japan’s Yuta Ikeda will be among the star players trying hard to put a dent to Scott’s title aspirations this week.
Major winner Els, who is also an Asian Tour International Ambassador and Honorary Member, will be aiming to bag his first SMBC Singapore Open title after several close brushes from past visits while Ikeda, Japan's number one player last year, hopes to upstage the stars.
Interesting facts of the day:

  • Scott has claimed the Singapore Open trophy a record three times in 2005, 2006 and 2010.

  • Adam Scott of Australia Adam Scott of Australia
    Singapore holds a special place for the popular Australian, who won the US Masters in 2013 and is a 13-time winner on the PGA Tour.

  • Scott, the world number seven finished in fifth place when he last played here in 2012.

  • Ernie Els is hoping to finally capture the Singapore Open title in his sixth appearance at the Serapong course this week. He came in runner-up twice in his last five attempts.

  • Yuta Ikeda finished 2016 in quite a brilliant fashion with two wins and six runner-up finishes in a 12-week stretch.

  • The Japanese rocketed to world number 33 and topped the Japan Golf Tour Organisation’s (JGTO) Order of Merit thanks to victories at the Honma Tour World Cup and Casio World Open along with half a dozen second places.

  • Ikeda also won the Panasonic Open in April and posted four other top-10 finishes in a sensational 2016.

Key Quotes
Adam Scott (Aus)
"I’m now married and I have a daughter. So much happens in a decade, so it’s completely different. I feel a lot more comfortable and understand my game so much better." Adam Scott

Well, the course – it’s one of those things for me, so I’ve just managed to play well here. I stand on the tee and my ball ends up in the fairway more often than not over the years, so it’s one of those things. It seems fairly generous in spots, this golf course, but you still have to be quite precise; it has really big greens. If you hit it a long way from the hole you’re really going to struggle. It just fits my eye, and fortunately and happily I’ve taken advantage of that a few times here.
I have a strong connection here to Singapore and Sentosa over the last 10 or 12 years. It’s a tournament that I very much enjoy; a great golf course. All these things contribute to making my decision where to play, and it’s a nice way for me to start the year quite close to home. I think I’m a much better golfer now than I was 12 years ago, but I obviously played well that week to win. So much about me has changed in that time.
I’m now married and I have a daughter. So much happens in a decade, so it’s completely different. I feel a lot more comfortable and understand my game so much better, but I just have to figure out how to apply all that on a more regular basis, to the best of my ability.
Ernie Els of South Africa Ernie Els of South Africa
Ernie Els (Rsa)
I’ve played here many times and I’ve always had a great time here. I love the city, I love the course, and this year it’s in unbelievable condition. It’s amazing how far they’ve come – the course has changed tremendously for the better since the first time I came here in 2005 or 2006. It’s really a world class golf course and event.
But it’s also a tricky golf course – it’s got some length and is sneakily long, especially at my age. But I really enjoy the course. It’s not the easiest place to make birdies sometimes because the greens are so huge and they’ve got great speed this week, so it’s going to be quite difficult to get the ball closer to the hole. You’ve really got to be thinking this week.
The Open Championship caters to the whole world and I’m sure it’s the biggest field in the world, so being able qualify through playing certain events is great and just gives you a bigger incentive.
Yuta Ikeda (Jpn)
After finishing last Season, I had some good rest. Started training from Jan 5 for 10days before coming here. Training was just physical training and not much golf club in my hand. It was more like to recharge my physical fitness because it was long season last year. It was good training. At this point, my schedule is almost the same as last year. I’ll play in Singapore and Myanmar, before going back to training and prepare for Masters Tournament. I heard from a local friend that the weather is better this year, so I hope the weather stays good this year.  The golf course is always in a good condition. It’s also very well maintained.  I am excited with the grouping tomorrow. Playing with Adam Scott and defending champion Young-Han Song. First time playing with Adam since 2015 when he played the Japan Open.
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 ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Sponsor), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official Business Publication Sponsor) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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