News24

Singapore playoff on Monday

2011-11-13 12:49

Singapore - Filipino Juvic Pagunsan and Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano will return on Monday to complete a sudden-death playoff for a Singapore Open title that the weather seems determined to wash out.

Both men finished a dramatic final round of a tournament already reduced to 54 holes tied on 14-under par on Sunday, but two attempts at a sudden-death playoff failed under the leaden and stormy skies over Sentosa Golf Club.

The entire field had completed their third rounds in a five-hour window between weather warnings but the joint-leaders were only able to tee off on the par-five 18th playoff hole before the threat of thunder sent them back to the clubhouse.

After a 90-minute delay, both men returned to lay-up short of the green as buggies rushed them down the sodden fairway to speed up play, but the heavens opened once more and after two hours of non-stop rain, play was abandoned for the day.

The Monday finish, the second in a row, represents a huge disappointment for the players, organisers and fans, who had finally been rewarded for their patience after three days of frustrating breaks with a nail-biting final round.

In regulation, Pagunsan drained a 12-foot birdie putt on the last to record a four-under 67 before overnight leader Fernandez-Castano recovered to hole a similar length putt for par after finding water off the tee.

The Spaniard had held a four-stroke lead at the turn and appeared to be cruising to victory, but a dramatic collapse on the back-nine saw him drop three shots as the pressure began to tell on the 31-year-old over the closing holes.

The 33-year-old Pagunsan had slipped under the radar in his pursuit of a first European Tour victory, playing a solid bogey-free round to close on the leaders as one-by-one the contenders threatened before falling away.

Should Fernandez-Castano seal victory in the $6 million co-sanctioned event, it will be his fifth on the European Tour and first since 2008, when he edged out Lee Westwood in a playoff for the British Masters.

Anthony Kim (64) and Louis Oosthuizen (65) both stormed up the leaderboard to finish one behind the leading pair, with New Zealand's Danny Lee, Dutchman Joost Luiten and Italy's Edoardo Molinari a further shot back in a tie for fifth place.

Reuters