Golf: Trio hold slender leads on first day of rain-interrupted S'pore Open

Hideto Tanihara of Japan teeing off during round one of the SMBC Singapore Open at the Sentosa Golf Club.
Hideto Tanihara of Japan teeing off during round one of the SMBC Singapore Open at the Sentosa Golf Club.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - A pair of matching six-under 65s by Hideto Tanihara and Kang Kyung Nam gave them the clubhouse lead on Thursday's (Jan 19) opening rain-interrupted round of the SMBC Singapore Open.

Both men teed off in the morning session at Sentosa Golf Club and avoided the 2.5 hour lightning delay that disrupted the afternoon flights. They were later joined by Satoshi Kodaira who also shot 65 and finished his round in almost total darkness.

World No. 54 Tanihara of Japan fired seven birdies against a single bogey while 427th ranked Kang from South Korea had a blemish-free scorecard at the Serapong Course.

Tanihara said: "Putting was good and greens are tricky but I was able to read the speed today… My approach shots were solid and feel better than last week (Sony Open in Hawaii), it was towards the pin, so I had lots of birdie chances."

 

They lead American Han Seung Su, Malaysian Gavin Green and Thai Pavit Tangkamolprasert, shot 66s, by a stroke with South African Shaun Norris a further shot adrift in joint-seventh.

Green said: "I putted well today. I played a little smarter than I did last year too. I was just cruising along towards the end of the round."

Singapore's Quincy Quek, who celebrated the birth of his daughter Olivia on Saturday, was the best performing local at the US$1 million (S$1.4 million) event. The 28-year-old shot 68 and is tied-11thin the 156-man field.

Spanish star Sergio Garcia, who is making his debut at the tournament, signed for 71 and was joint-56th.

Play had stopped at 3.29pm and resumed at 5.55pm before being halted at 7.15pm due to fading light. That meant a total of 69 players will have to return on Friday to complete their opening round.

Among those were world No. 7 and three-time Singapore Open winner Adam Scott and defending champion Song Young Han (both in the same flight and one-under through 15 holes) and former world No. 1 Ernie Els (two over through 16).

Play will resume at 7.30am on Friday (Jan 20).