SINGAPORE: South Korea’s Song Young-Han won the $1million SMBC Singapore Open on Monday, edging out world number one Jordan Spieth in a nail-biting finish.
Song shot a one-under-par 70 over the final round to finish the tournament at 12-under 272, one stroke ahead of the American who wrapped up a 66 on Monday.
China’s Liang Wen-Chong (69) was alone in third place on 274, while Miguel Tabuena (68) of the Philippines and Japan’s Shintaro Kobayashi (71) were tied fourth on 275.
The final round at the Serapong Golf Course on Sentosa Island was suspended Sunday because of thunderstorms just as Spieth was lining up a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th green.
Spieth got his birdie when play resumed Monday morning but Song, playing two groups behind, refused to buckle and parred his final three holes to secure the title.
It was Song’s first career victory after six second-place finishes in Japan and Korea since 2013.
Song became the first Asian to win the Singapore Open since India’s Jeev Milkha Singh took home the trophy in 2008.
The South Korean never relinquished the lead after Friday’s second round when he fired a blistering eight-under 63 that equalled the course record.
Spieth was playing in Singapore for the first time, but the co-sanctioned Asian Tour and Japan Tour event was no easy ride for the world number one.
Playing in his seventh competition in nearly four months, the 22-year-old Texan was plagued by inconsistent form and entered the final round trailing the South Korean by five strokes.
Song said Monday he had felt the pressure building overnight.
“Last night felt like a week,” the 24-year-old said. “I couldn’t eat because the whole night I was thinking about the 16th green.
“I ‘hated’ Jordan last night,” he added.
“The situation made me very nervous and I just left it to luck and the golfing gods.”
It was also a restless night for Spieth as he awaited the cliff-hanger finale.
“It was tough to sleep on a putt that you have to come back [to], even though it wasn’t the most challenging putt,” he said.
“Still a very nerve-wracking one to hit, knowing that you have to make it for what you think will be the play-off. I’m really happy I put a good stroke on it.”
Despite his less-than-perfect week, the American said he enjoyed playing in the tournament, which returned from a three-year hiatus under a new sponsor.
“Overall, great experience and I had a really great time here. I fought hard in the final round but (I) was just a little too far back,” Spieth said.