Singapore: The SMBC Singapore Open is set for a gripping finale on Monday morning with world number one Jordan Spieth breathing down the neck of leader Song Young-hun.
The 50th staging of the iconic tournament was heading towards a compelling climax before large galleries on Sunday afternoon when Mother Nature took a hand as both players approached crucial putts on the closing holes.
Spieth, two shots behind, faced a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th and Song was standing over a 12-footer to save par on 16 when the hooter sounded to halt play and the two of them looked simultaneously towards the rain-filled sky in frustration.
After a delay of three hours and 15 minutes because of lightning activity in the area, play was called off for the day and the combatants will return to the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club at 7.30 am on Monday for the denouement.
Spieth said he was looking to secure his birdie at the final hole to put pressure on Song.
“My game really started to come together on the back nine. I was putting some pressure on the leader,” said the Masters and US Open champion. “Assuming I make that putt on 18 that is going to put some pressure on.”
The incoming storm changed the way Spieth played the final hole making an eagle almost impossible.
“I was a bit surprised on the 18th tee,” said the 22-year-old American. “Literally when I hit the tee shot the wind changed completely and the hole went from driver, three-iron to driver, three-iron and sand wedge and took eagle out of the equation.
“That was because the storm was coming. It is what it is. I will come back tomorrow and try and win this thing.”
Song, who was 12-under for the tournament when play was halted, was sanguine about coming back on Monday to finish off the tournament.
“I am really tired, it has been a long wait. Coming back tomorrow is okay for me as the course should be in a better condition (less wet),” said the 24-year-old world number 204 who is looking for his first victory.
“Tomorrow I will just play shot by shot and hope I can get the win. I have had a lot of second place finishes and it is time for a victory.”
China’s Liang Wenchong, runner up behind Ian Poulter in the 2009 Singapore Open, showed again that he is right at home on the Serapong Course by carding a two-under-par 69 for a total of 10-under 274 before play was halted.
He could still figure in a play-off depending on how the action unfolds over the final holes on Monday.
“I three-putted on 12 and that was a very costly bogey. But I also missed several makeable birdie opportunities and I’m regretting it now,” said the 37-year-old who has won multiple times in Asia.
Sentosa Golf Club is a Golf Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.