Golf

Kuchar recovers from triple-bogey to win SMBC S’pore Open

Olympic bronze medallist Matt Kuchar fought back from a triple-bogey to win the SMBC Singapore Open yesterday in a boost ahead of the Tokyo Games, while Rio 2016 winner Justin Rose finished second.

The three men's golf medallists from the last Olympics appeared at the Sentosa Golf Club, with their performances closely watched before the Tokyo Games start in July.

While Kuchar and Rose had good outings, there was disappointment for silver medallist Henrik Stenson, who finished 23rd.

Kuchar looked strongest throughout and went into the final day of the US$1 million (S$1.35m) event with a three-shot lead, but nearly let victory slip from his grasp on the par-five seventh.

The 41-year-old American's tee shot came up against the root of a tree and he missed the ball on his first attempt to hit it clear.

His approach shot then flew left of the green and went out of bounds, but he eventually managed to hole a putt from 10 feet for a triple-bogey eight.

He staged a strong comeback however, with birdies on the 11th and 16th helping him push ahead, before he sank a birdie putt for a one-under 70, helping him win the tournament with an 18-under 266 total.

"Seven was a disastrous hole to make (a) triple-bogey..." said the world No. 24, who picked up a US$180,000 winner's cheque. "I'm awfully proud of being able to bounce back from adversity."

Rose, who fired a final-round 67 to finish three strokes behind Kuchar, said: "Some second places hurt, some second places you feel good and this is more of a feeling good second-place finish."

Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond (71), who won the title last year, was third after finishing on a 270 total. - AFP

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