Golf

Spieth is first world No. 1 to play in Singapore Open

World No. 1 set for one big push at Singapore Open before taking a break

He is not quite yet in the same standing as Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi or Usain Bolt, but every golf tournament he competes in anywhere around the world, the name Jordan Spieth keeps cropping up, often raising roars among his followers around the course.

He is exciting, clinical, deadly with his putter and never backs down.

He is 22 and the No. 1 player in the world and he arrived in the Lion City yesterday after a fifth-placed finish at the Abu Dhabi Championship.

Spieth will be the first world No. 1 to tee off here at the US$1 million ($1.43m) SMBC Singapore Open and the excitement has been growing as Sentosa Golf Club prepares to welcome the Texan and a host of leading players to the Serapong Course, ranked No. 58 among the leading courses across the globe.

Spieth won the 2015 US Masters title and followed it up by lifting the US Open crown. He flirted with a Grand Slam last year, finishing tied-fourth at the British Open and second at the season's final Major, the US PGA Championship.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Sentosa Golf Club chairman Low Teo Ping said: "It's going to be tremendous to have a reigning world No. 1 play on the Asian golf circuit; that's definitely something people don't want to miss.

"There is already a lot of speculation (in betting terms) that's he's going to shoot something between 12 under and 20 under.

"This (Sentosa) is one of the 100 greatest golf courses in the world, not some masak-masak (child's play) course.

"We are expecting a lot of interest... People from overseas are also coming to see him play."

The 50th staging of the iconic Singapore Open will see Spieth joined by fellow Major winners Darren Clarke and YE Yang and Ryder Cup star Jamie Donaldson, along with local hero Mardan Mamat and a group of top pros from the Japan Golf Tour Organisation battling for the winner's purse of almost $260,000.

"I've always wanted to visit there (Singapore). I've heard from quite a few people that it's arguably the best city in that part of the world, very clean, very fun to go to, good food, great golf course," Spieth said, in an earlier interview.

JADED

"It's an event that we've kind of had our mind on for a year or two and thought it might work out on a trip around the world here, go this way and just kind of puddle-jump over there I guess."

Spieth started 2016 with a bang by winning the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii and Singapore will be his third tournament in four weeks.

Speaking after his round on Sunday, Spieth said that all the travelling has left him "beat up, mentally and physically."

"I'm very tired. I am," a visibly jaded Spieth said.

"I'm not 100 per cent right now. It shows in certain places, you know."

Fans planning to catch the world's best player at Serapong will bank on his youthfulness and competitive fire to propel him for four rounds, before he takes a well-deserved break.

Jordan SpiethsportsUncategorisedgolf