Crucial putt for Spieth in Monday finish
Spieth faces key putt as storm forces Monday finish
It turned out to be the final piece of action in yesterday's fourth round of the SMBC Singapore Open, and it could not have been any more dramatic.
You could almost hear a pin drop as world No. 1 Jordan Spieth stood on the 18th green at Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course, lining up a routine five-foot birdie putt that would have completed a five-under 66 and placed him at 11 under in the clubhouse.
Moments later, the silence was abruptly broken by a deafening noise although it was not, as might have been expected, cheers from the gallery.
Instead, it was the loud blast of the horn, a sound all too familiar by now, as the US$1 million ($1.42m) tournament was interrupted by thunderstorms for the third time in four days.
Over at the par-four 16th hole, scoreboard leader Song Young Han, on 12 under, was facing a much trickier 10-footer to save par.
Had the South Korean missed his par putt and dropped a shot, and Spieth successfully converted his final-hole birdie, it would have left both golfers level on 11 under.
Instead, with the untimely intervention of the golfing gods, the outcome of that tense, potentially pivotal moment will be known only this morning.
After a three-hour wait and with the thunderstorms showing no signs of abating, play was eventually called off at 6pm yesterday.
Twelve golfers will resume the fourth round from 7.30am this morning. Admission is free.
"As we are unable to complete all 72 holes today due to persistent thunderstorms, play will be extended to Monday and we look forward to declaring a worthy winner tomorrow," said Asian Tour tournament director Jittisak Tamprasert in a statement yesterday.
Spieth, 22, tried his best to hide his frustration but said that he will remain focused on his make-or-break putt this morning.
"My game really started to come together on the back nine. I was putting some pressure on the leader," said the reigning US Masters and US Open champion.
"Assuming I make that putt on 18, that is going to put some pressure on him.
"It is what it is… I will come back tomorrow and try and win this thing."
The turn of events has also increased the pressure on Song, who will have the memories of six previous runner-up finishes playing on his mind when he resumes this morning.
The 24-year-old, though, is optimistic of sealing the deal.
"I am really tired and it has been a long wait. Coming back tomorrow is okay for me as the course should be in a better condition," said the world No. 204.
"I will just play shot by shot and hope I can get the win. I have had a lot of second-placed finishes and it is time for a victory."
One golfer will be following the fortunes of Song and Spieth closely.
China's Liang Wenchong finished the day as the clubhouse leader on 10 under after posting a final-round 69.
But the 37-year-old was left to rue missing a short putt for birdie on the 18th, which would have taken him up to 11 under. Despite the slip-up, the Zhongshan native is satisfied with his display over the past four days.
"I'm happy to have once again come here to compete in the Singapore Open," said Liang, who had the lead with three holes to play in the 2009 edition but was overtaken by eventual winner Ian Poulter of England.
"I missed several birdie opportunities on the back nine, but I'm still very satisfied."
I have had a lot of second-placed finishes and it is time for a victory.
— Song Young Han
Assuming I make that putt on 18, that is going to put some pressure on him (Song).
— Jordan Spieth
COMPLETED SCORES (SELECTED)
- 274: Liang Wenchong 71-67-67-69
- 276: Wang Jeunghun 73-67-67-69
- 277: Lee Won Joon 71-69-67-70, Chapchai Nirat 69-70-71-67, Brett Munson 71-67-70-69.
- 278: Masahiro Kawamura 70-70-70-68, Sam Brazel 72-67-70-69, Jazz Janewattananond 70-73-68-67.
- 279: Yoshinori Fujimoto 74-68-68-69, Richard T. Lee 70-72-71-66, Berry Henson 66-73-69-71, Choi Jinho 69-69-70-71.
- 287: Quincy Quek (Sin) 68-71-73-75, Yang Yong Eun 70-72-78-67.
- 291: James Leow (am) (Sin) 72-70-75-74.
YET TO FINISH (Selected)
- -12: Song Young Han (70-63-69, -1 through to 15th)
- -10: Jordan Spieth (67-70-70, -4 through to 17th)
- -9: Miguel Tabuena (69-67-71, -3 through to 17th), Hideto Tanihara (68-67-71, -2 through to 17th), Shintaro Kobayashi (66-69-69, -2 through to 15th).
- Twelve players to complete fourth round from 7.30am today.