The European Tour remains in Asia this week for the Barclays Singapore Open. A strong field has assembled, including World Number 1 Rory McIlroy and a host of other star names.
This event has long been a part of the Asian Tour but, since 2009, it has been co-sanctioned by the European Tour. Since then the tournament has been won by: Ian Poulter, Adam Scott and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
Scott has a great record in this tournament. The Australian won twice when the event was solely on the Asian Tour, then took the title again in 2010 after the competition had become co-sanctioned.
Last season Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain took the victory after a playoff against Juvic Pagunsan of the Phillipines. The pair had to return at 7.30am on Monday morning to finish the tournament as lightning had called a halt to play the previous evening.
Singapore endures around 400 thunderstorms every year so don’t be too surprised if play is suspended at least once through the course of this week.
Rory McIlroy will start the week as favourite and the 23-year-old will be looking to take advantage of the sizeable prize-fund here to further widen his advantage at the top of the Race to Dubai.
The USPGA champion has four victories on the 2012 European Tour and he’s currently almost €800,000 ahead of Peter Hanson at the head of the money list.
Hanson isn’t teeing it up this week but McIlroy will face stern competition from the likes of Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Padraig Harrington.
Opened for play in 1985, the course at Sentosa was originally designed by Ron Fream, it was remodelled in 2007 by Andrew Johnston. The attractive parkland layout is set just beside Singapore Harbour. It’s a testing track and not one that tends to produce super-low scoring. Look for a winning total around the 15-under-par mark.
Venue: Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore
Date: Nov 8-11
Course stats: par 71, 7,372 yards
Defending Champion: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (-14)
Thursday 8 – Sky Sports 1 from 5am
Friday 9 – Sky Sports 2 from 5am
Saturday 10 – Sky Sports 2 from 3am
Sunday 11 – Sky Sports 3 from 3am
Louis Oosthuizen – He led for three rounds last week in China before slipping down to sixth with a disappointing final round. But, he’s clearly on excellent form and he was tied third in this event last year.
Adam Scott – Three times a winner of this tournament, Scott is another who showed excellent form in the HSBC Champions this week. It’s difficult to dismiss his chances this week.
Thorbjorn Olesen – He played solidly last week and has enjoyed a fine season on the European Tour. He’d love to move up towards the top-10 on the Race to Dubai standings to put him in line for a good chunk of the bonus pool.
Key hole: 18th. A par 5 of 542 yards, this is a great finishing hole. Reachable in two for most, a lake lurks all down the left hand side. The hole turns from right to left so anything with a touch too much draw on it could end up wet.
Skills required: Driving. With not a single par 4 under 400 yards on the Serrapong Course, this layout requires long and straight hitting from the tee. Five of the par 4s measure over 450 yards and the shortest par 5 is 542 yards.
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