SINGAPORE - With his rivals wilting under the heat and pressure, Sergio Garcia kept his cool to cruise to a five-stroke victory in the SMBC Singapore Open on Sunday (Jan 21).
The Spaniard fired a blemish-free three-under 68 in his final round on the Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong course for a total of 14-under 270 (66-70-66-68).
Garcia returned to the course in the early morning for the fourth day in a row to finish the last nine holes of his third round, netting four birdies to retake the tournament lead he last held in the first round.
He then added three more birdies on the front nine in his final round, before sauntering back to the clubhouse even-par on his last 10 holes with no other golfer yet to finish within striking distance.
Satoshi Kodaira (66-72-66-71) and Shaun Norris (69-67-69-70) claimed joint second place at the US$1 million (S$1.3 million) tournament with nine-under 275s. The Japanese golfer had an erratic day on the course, mixing five birdies with five bogeys, while the South African bounced back from two bogeys on the third and sixth holes with three birdies on his back nine.
Thais Jazz Janewattananond (71-68-66-71) and Danthai Boonma (70-68-65-73) were one stroke further back on 276. With the Singapore Open part of the 147th British Open Qualifying Series, both secured themselves a spot at Carnoustie in July, alongside American Sean Crocker (277) and Australian Lucas Herbert (278).
The four were the best finishers in the field who had not already qualified for the British Open.
Herbert got the last slot by virtue of his higher world ranking than the Philippines' Miguel Tabuena and American Berry Henson, who also finished on six-under.
Choo Tze Huang and amateur Gregory Foo flew the Republic's flag high at home, signing for matching four-under 280s and a share of 16th spot.