Bad luck comes in form of 3rd hole for Ishikawa

Japan's Ryo Ishikawa plays a bunker shot during the third round of the Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course yesterday. Play was abandoned at 6.20pm due to lightning and will resume this morning.
Japan's Ryo Ishikawa plays a bunker shot during the third round of the Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course yesterday. Play was abandoned at 6.20pm due to lightning and will resume this morning.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

For three straight rounds, Ryo Ishikawa has walked off the par-four third hole at the Serapong Course cursing himself.

The Japanese player's frustration was understandable, having recorded double bogeys each time, including in yesterday's third round which came after he had birdied the opening two holes, and reached nine under to lead the Singapore Open briefly.

That advantage soon evaporated after another mistake on the third which halted his momentum and he was tied for third at seven under with six other golfers when third-round play was called off yesterday.

The 26-year-old left without speaking to the media upon returning to the clubhouse but in an interview done after he had finished his second round yesterday, he said: "I can't seem to suit myself to that hole. I'm thinking about which club to use off the tee."

Not only is the tee box tucked on top of a slope which leaves players with a blind and narrow window to aim at, the 494-yard hole turns almost 90 degrees to the left halfway down the fairway.

There are trees on either side of the fairway and bunkers guarding the green, making it one of Serapong's toughest holes, said Ishikawa.

The Saitama native's last win was at the 2016 RIZAP KBC Augusta on the Japan Tour and despite his troubles with the third, his overall game at the Sentosa Golf Club has been stellar and he will fancy his chances of becoming the first Japanese to win the Singapore Open since compatriot Kesahiko Uchida did so at the 1976 edition.

"I putted well today - the greens are a little quicker than yesterday but I still figured out the speed," Ishikawa said after his morning second-round effort that saw him sign for a five-under 66 to go alongside an opening 69.

"I am very happy to be here, at the top, but (there are) still 36 more holes to go so I still need more concentration for this afternoon's 18 holes."

He was even par through eight holes and will be looking to make ground on joint-leaders Danthai Boonma and Chapchai Nirat, both at nine under, when play resumes this morning.


3RD RD: EARLY SCORES

(62 yet to complete weather-disrupted round) 211 Yoshinori Fujimoto (Jpn) 68 72 71, Shunya Takeyasu (Jpn) 69 71 71 213 a-Jesse Yap (Sgp) 68 72 73 214 Arjun Atwal (Ind) 73 67 74, Thanyakon Khrongpha (Tha) 70 70 74 217 Lee Seung Taek (Kor) 74 65 78 SINGAPOREANS WHO MISSED CUT (142) 145 Quincy Quek 72 73 149 Johnson Poh 74 75 152 Mardan Mamat 74 78 154 a-Marc Ong 73 81 156 a-Joshua Shou 78 78

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 21, 2018, with the headline 'Bad luck comes in form of 3rd hole for Ishikawa'. Print Edition | Subscribe