Song leads as Spieth’s round halted by weather
South Korean storms into the lead as weather cuts short Spieth's round
The biggest crowd of the day thronged the first hole at Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course yesterday at about 1.20pm, a world No. 1 is always box office and they all wanted to catch Jordan Spieth kick off his second round at the SMBC Singapore Open.
They followed the 22-year-old American as he set off on his round, and some 30 minutes later just a short distance away, there was only a smattering of applause from the packed VIP galleries surrounding the 18th hole, as South Korea's Song Young Han finished his day with a grand eight-under 63.
Song's score, which included an eagle on the par-five fourth hole, would have matched the course record set by Angel Cabrera in 2007 and George Coetzee in 2012, if not for the fact that preferred lies apply for the tournament this week due to poor weather.
With preferred lies, or winter rules, golfers are allowed to lift the ball on a closely-mown area and move it, as long as it is not moved closer to the hole.
"This course plays long and tight, and the greens are very difficult, but my putting is good today," said Song, 24, the overnight leader with nine under after two rounds.
"I am hitting the ball well in this tournament and I will just try to play the same way over the next two days."
While the course was peppered with intermittent drizzles in the early afternoon yesterday, play was stopped at 3.06pm due to a thunderstorm, and the organisers decided there would be no more action at about 5.30pm.
Seventy-eight golfers in the 156-strong field of the US$1 million ($1.42m) tournament, including Spieth, did not finish yesterday and have to return to the course at 7.30am today to complete their second round.
Spieth, who carded a four-under after the first round, said: "I didn't get off to a great start but made a good birdie on No. 2.
"That's golf, that's weather, you can't control that. I could tell it was bad on other parts of the course."
Japan's Shintaro Kobayashi was one golfer who managed to finish his second round, and his two-under score was enough for him to move into second spot.
"I played 14 holes yesterday and had to complete my first round this morning, but I didn't feel tired at all," said Kobayashi, 29, through a translator.
"I am in a good position after the second round, but it is also a very difficult course, and many other golfers have not completed their rounds today as well, so anything can happen."
Both Kobayashi and Song are looking forward to possibly teeing off together with Spieth today, although the US Open and Masters champion was only able to complete six holes yesterday and was on even par for the day.
Kobayashi said: "We (Spieth and I) are both professionals, and I will just play the way I usually do and not be affected by him."
Song added: "I really want to play alongside him; I think I would be a little nervous if it happens, but it is not every day that I'd get to play beside a world No. 1.
"I really want to win this tournament as well, but I am still very relaxed at this point, since there are two more rounds to go."
On seven I got a bit unlucky. I had a perfect distance to the hole, the par five, and just when I hit my second, the wind changed. My ball came up just short of the green and when I went to play my putt, that’s when the rain came in hard, almost horizontally....
— World No. 1 Jordan Spieth on the wrath of the Singapore storm
- 133: Song Young Han 70-63.
- 135: Shintaro Kobayashi 66-69.
- 138: Paul Peterson 68-70, Thanyakon Khrongpha 69-69, Brett Munson 71-67.
- 139: Park Sang Hyun 70-69, Himmat Rai 70-69, Berry Henson 66-73, Sam Brazel 72-67, Tadahiro Takayama 71-68, Yuki Inamori 67-72.
- 140: Brad Kennedy 71-69, Michael Hendry 72-68, Masahiro Kawamura 70-70, Juvic Pagunsan 70-70, Lee Won Joon 71-69.
- 142: Yang Yong Eun 70-72, James Leow (A) 72-70.
- 146: Jerome Ng 72-74.
- 147: Abdul Hadi (A) 72-75.
- 150: Joshua Ho (A) 78-72.
- 152: Mitchell Slorach 78-74.
- 154: Johnson Poh 77-77.
Eagles galore at the fourth hole
He teed off with his driver and used his five wood for his second shot to get the ball onto the green.
South Korea's Song Young Han then made a 20-metre putt for an eagle on the par-five fourth hole in the second round of the SMBC Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course yesterday.
"That eagle was the highlight of the day for me... the course is difficult, but because I putted well, I was able to score," said the 24-year-old.
And boy, did he score.
Other than his eagle, Song carded seven birdies - four on the front nine - and a lone bogey on the par-four 12th hole, to record an impressive eight-under 63, for a nine-under 133 two-day total.
His score yesterday would have equalled the course record, achieved by Angel Cabrera in 2007 and George Coetzee in 2012, if not for the fact that the US$1 million ($1.42m) tournament is played with preferred lies this week.
Song was not the only one to eagle the 535m-long fourth hole, which requires a golfer to tee off across water and negotiate a grove of palm trees on the side of the fairway.
His countryman An Byeong Hun (above), who did not finish his round yesterday due to inclement weather, also achieved the feat, while American Paul Peterson, South Korea's Chang Yik Eun and Taiwan's Lin Wen-tang also completed the hole in three shots in the first round on Friday.
Song said: "I made some great putts today, I made almost all of them. I hope (in the next two days) I can have the same strokes as today."
- LIM SAY HENG