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Rekindling a love affair

Three-time winner Scott signs up for SMBC Singapore Open next year

He won at Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong course in 2005, then came back the following year to prove his mastery of her fairways and greens.

Adam Scott's special connection with Serapong continued in 2010 when he lifted the famous trophy again to become a three-time winner.

The Aussie world No. 7 is set to rekindle his love affair with Serapong next year, when the US$1 million ($1.35m) SMBC Singapore Open returns from Jan 19-22.

"It is hard to believe it has been 11 years since I first played in and won the Singapore Open," said the 36-year-old in a release.

"It was also the first time I had won a national Open and it meant a great deal to me.

"I am looking forward to playing the Serapong again. It will certainly feel like a homecoming of sorts."

Scott last played at the Serapong at the 2012 edition of the Singapore Open, where he finished fifth.

A year later, he claimed his most famous win when he became the first Australian to don the Green Jacket at the US Masters.

Scott won at Augusta National with the broomstick putter that saw one end of the long putter shaft anchored on his chest, but made a change to a more conventional 35-inch putter after a rule change saw anchored putters banned by the US Golf Association and the R&A starting in January this year.

He struggled with a variety of styles and grips and finished last year winless.

But he seems to have found his groove this year, with two wins already under his belt - at the Honda Classic in February, and at the World Golf Championship in March.

Putting on the Serapong greens proved to be a challenge at this year's Singapore Open, with its large undulating greens totalling 25,000 square metres, almost double that of the average course.

Known to be one of the best putters in the game, Jordan Spieth, world No. 1 at the time, struggled on Serapong's greens in the earlier rounds of the 2016 edition before rallying to finish second, behind South Korea's Song Young Han.

Tough greens or not, Scott will have to be at the top of his game.

He will be joined in Singapore by by Spaniard Sergio Garcia, who is 11th in the world golf rankings.  

"This is fantastic news for the SMBC Singapore Open," said Takeshi Kunibe, president and chief executive of the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

"I know everyone has been waiting for Adam Scott to return as he has a huge following in Singapore after three fine victories. With Sergio Garcia competing as well, we are all in for a real golfing spectacle."

The SMBC Singapore Open is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation, and is the opening event of the season on both circuits.

FAVOURITE HUNTING GROUND: Australian Adam Scott will be hoping to add to his three Singapore Open triumphs, the last in 2010 (above), at Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong course next year. PHOTO COURTESY OF ICON INTERNATIONAL