SINGAPORE (AP) Southeast Asia’s fickle weather forced the organizers of the Singapore Open to delay the completion of the final round until Monday, just as Jordan Spieth was making a late charge for the title.
Trailing by two shots at 10 under but still with a chance of winning, Spieth was just about to attempt a five-foot birdie putt on the final hole on Sunday when the weather suddenly turned foul and officials ordered play be stopped because of lightning strikes in the area.
Booked to fly home to Texas on Sunday night, the world’s top-ranked golfer was unable to hide his frustration as he trudged off the green just before the skies opened and heavy rain began to fall.
”It is what it is. I will come back tomorrow and try and win this thing,” he said.
”I was due to leave tonight but next week was an off week anyway so we have changed the travel schedule and I will be there early tomorrow to try and finish this off.”
The delay not only stalled Spieth’s momentum but also provided a reprieve for Song Young-han of South Korea, who was leading at 12 under but facing a testing 12-foot putt to save par on the 16th.
Play was suspended for more than three hours before officials announced the tournament would resume at Sentosa Golf Club on Monday morning.
The first two days of the event had also been cut short because of the inclement weather and officials had tried to avert the threat of more disruptions by playing the last two rounds with groups of three, starting from the first and 10th tees.
Spieth was among a handful of players who returned to the course after sunrise to complete their third rounds, while organisers sent out the backmarkers to get the final round underway as quickly as possible.
Spieth missed his early-morning par putt on the 17th, where he had marked his ball overnight, but birdied the 18th to head into the final round five shots behind Song, who had led since the second round.
By his own standards, Spieth had been below his best in Singapore, the final leg of a globe-trotting tour where he has played his last five tournaments in five countries.
He had been noticeably struggling with his putter over the first three days, but got his game together to reel off five birdies in his final round and close in on the leader and retain some hope of claiming a first Asian Tour title.
”My game really started to come together on the back nine. I was putting some pressure on the leader,” Spieth said. ”Assuming I make that putt on 18 that is going to put some pressure on.”
Ranked 204th in the world, Song kept his composure each time he heard the roars from the huge galleries following Spieth, making two birdies of his own and a string of clutch saves. But he dropped a shot at the seventh and faced an anxious night’s sleep.
China’s Liang Wen-chong managed to beat the weather to secure the clubhouse lead at 10 under, while a group of three including Shintaro Kobayashi, were at 9 under.