SINGAPORE - He played true to his game plan on Thursday (July 1).
Enjoying a two-shot overnight lead, Singaporean golfer Mitchell Slorach decided on just one strategy: tee to fairway, then find the better part of the green whatever the pin placements.
And buoyed by a confidence that he would make at least one birdie at the tail-end of a decent round on a very familiar course, he played to perfection his thoughts.
So rightly, he reaped the rewards: an easy four-stroke victory in the third leg of the FTAG Singapore Pro Series at Sentosa Golf Club's testing Serapong course made tougher by strong shifting winds.
And satisfyingly, he played the first nine to regulation, rued his missed four-foot putt at the par-four 10th for bogey, and bagged birdies on the 16th and 18th to swat away the opposition with his unrisky approach to the round.
His efforts were rewarded with a $3,000 cheque and, more importantly, the Sentosa GC member enjoyed exclusivity as the only player to return an under-par round of 70 and sub-par 141 total.
Jesse Yap, who finished runner-up after a one-over 72 for a 145 total, could not raise his game further and third-placed battle-hardened Mardan Mamat (73) was undone by a double-bogey on the par-five fourth as the pair offered little resistance to Slorach.
Slorach, 33, said: "Conditions were tricky with the gusty winds which changed direction. Because I was being chased, I knew I had to play safe on a challenging course that can destroy you."
Thus he enjoyed his two late birdies that accounted for the one-way street to glory. On the par-four 16th, he drove to the bottom of the fairway hugging a ravine, then hit a pitching wedge to five metres and sank the putt.
And on the 515-metre finishing hole that gave him a surprise birdie on Wednesday, he drove to about 270m, laid up with a five-iron and found his approach from about 75m landing to about three metres before holing the putt under no pressure.
Daryl Low was the best amateur at 150 (75-75), finishing tied-ninth overall among 24 golfers.
Final scores (top six) - 141: Mitchell Slorach 71 70. 145: Jesse Yap 73 72. 146: Mardan Mamat 73 73. 147: Koh Dengshan 75 72, Abdul Hadi 74 73. 148: Gregory Foo 73 75.
The fourth leg, a four-day tournament from July 13 to 16, will be played at Tanah Merah Country Club in conjunction with the Singapore Open Amateur Championship.