SMBC Singapore Open 2017

Golf: It's about beating the restlessness during rain delays

Adam Scott of Australia lines up a putt as his caddie shelters him during the third round of the SMBC Singapore Open.
Adam Scott of Australia lines up a putt as his caddie shelters him during the third round of the SMBC Singapore Open. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Rain delays are not uncommon at golf tournaments, so Angelo Que and his friends find innovative ways to kill time during downpours.

The Filipino recalled that two years ago, some golfers dared Australian Unho Park to climb a lamp post at the Indonesian Masters during a break in play due to the weather.

Que said: "He made it to about 10 metres up and he earned $50 for it. I was telling him not to do it because he might get injured."

During a 2 ½-hour rain delay on the first day of the SMBC Singapore Open, although no one was risking their lives doing death-defying stunts at the Sentosa Golf Club, the golfers found other ways to keep themselves occupied.

With the driving range and greens closed, Adilson da Silva of Brazil practised putting on the carpet in the locker room.

Most players prefer to just take their minds off the sport. Mobile game apps are a popular entertainment option.

American Johannes Veerman engaged in chess, Malaysian Nicholas Fung played a jackpot game while Que worked on a Sudoku puzzle.

Fung said: "I don't want to think about golf then. When you're on the course, you feel enough stress thinking about it already."

But sometimes, the enforced break would leave players feeling restless.

Yesterday, during a 3 ½-hour break, South Korea's Kim Kyung Tae went back to his hotel to rest.

Players are careful to watch what they eat, or even whom they speak to, while waiting for play to resume.

Singapore's Mardan Mamat said he usually eats pasta to fuel himself, while Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman avoids talking to his family members to keep his focus on the task at hand.

Rahman explained: "I might feel irritated when they make comments about my performance."

Although no players enjoy rain delays, the break can be a window for them to have a mental pep talk.

Chinese player Zhang Huilin, 27, emerged from the break a more motivated man after he saw a different kind of red - not the good ones on his scorecard - when he checked his stocks.

He found out that he had made a loss of more than 30,000 yuan (S$6,230).

"I was upset at first and it affected my mood," the Changsha native, who eventually shot six-over 219 after three rounds, joked. "But I felt more motivated to play better after that so that I can recover the losses and earn back the money."

  • Additional reporting by Jonathan Wong
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 22, 2017, with the headline 'It's about beating the restlessness during rain delays'. Print Edition | Subscribe