Golf

Love hoping for a Singapore boost for The Open

Veteran American golfer Davis Love III hopes to roll back the years at this week's SMBC Singapore Open and achieve his twin goals of contending for the title and snaring a spot in The Open.

The World Golf Hall of Famer arrived at Sentosa Golf Club in confident mood after one of the best scoring performances of his career at last week's Sony Open in Hawaii.

Playing his 762nd official PGA Tour event, the 54-year-old shot four rounds in the 60s to post a 16-under 264, just one stroke shy of his career-best 263.

That was good enough for seventh place, six strokes behind winner Matt Kuchar, but just one shot adrift of a group of four players who tied for third.

"Actually, Saturday (at the Sony Open when I shot 64) was one of my best playing games in a while and confidence is coming back," said Love, whose sole victory in a Major came at the 1997 PGA Championship.

"I'm excited about my form and came here with high expectations, what with the great greens, great golf course and the four spots to get into The Open, so I was definitely gearing to this point this week."

Love resumed playing last March after a hip replacement and his display last week has strengthened his resolve to compete full-time on the PGA Tour this season.

His decision to play the US$1 million (S$1.35m) SMBC Singapore Open, which starts today, was made easier by the tournament's standing as a qualifier for The Open at Royal Portrush in July.

Love has made no secret of the fact that he would love to play the Majors again with The Open, where he last played in 2012, his main target. The leading four non-exempt players come Sunday will book a ticket for The Open.

He will be up against a stellar field, which includes defending champion Sergio Garcia of Spain, England's Paul Casey - the highest-ranked player in the field at world No. 24 - multiple winner on the European Tour, Matthew Fitzpatrick and the cream of the Asian and Japan Tours,

Giving him a helping hand is his son Dru, who will also tee it up in the SMBC Open.

Dru, 25, arrived in Singapore earlier and has been helping dad to settle in the humid conditions.

His advice to dad? "Drink a lot of water, that is all I say."

Golf