SINGAPORE (Reuters) - South Korean Song Young-han held his nerve to edge his role model, world number one Jordan Spieth, by a shot to win the Singapore Open in a weather-delayed Monday finish.
Song returned at 7:30 a.m (2330 GMT) to par the last three holes of his final round for a one-under 70 and 12-under total of 272, claiming the first title of his career after a number of second place finishes on the Japan, Korean and OneAsia Tours.
Double major winner Spieth, who also returned to the Sentosa Golf Club early to sink a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th, his only shot of the day, finished with a five-under 66.
The duo were among 12 players forced to return on Monday after more stormy weather in the Southeast Asian city state brought an early end to Sunday’s play at the Japan Golf Tour and Asian Tour season opening event.
The third weather disruption of the week came at a pivotal point in the round with Song over a 10-foot putt on the 16th to stay at 12-under while Spieth was looking at a short putt on 18 to get to 11-under.
“One night felt like one week, the whole night I thought about 16th green. I hated Jordan Spieth last night,” Song joked with reporters through a translator.
“The line wasn’t that bad, but the situation made me very nervous. I left it to the gods.”
Well, not entirely to the gods.
The world number 204 spent Sunday night practicing his putting with a friend in his hotel room and it paid off as he rolled in the clutch par putt on 16, just as he had done on the 13th and 14th, to retain his lead.
Spieth headed to the practice range in the hope of a playoff after sinking his birdie, which he was seen studying 20 minutes before play resumed, but Song ensured there would be no sudden death shootout with solid pars on the last two holes.
The giddy 24-year-old South Korean waited nervously for 20 minutes after his news conference to meet with his idol Spieth, grabbing a selfie before trying again to call his mother, who was not answering.
Spieth joked that he had completed the first perfect round of his career after his one putt effort, but was left to wonder what might have been.
The 22-year-old Texan never truly hit his best form in Singapore this week and was guilty of missing a number of short putts on the large undulating greens that left him five back of Song after three rounds.
“I just made some really poor decisions in the middle two rounds, I was just trying to do too much,” Spieth said.
“I fought hard in the final round but I was just too far back.”
Spieth will fly back to the United States and a week off after a hectic recent schedule of tournaments in Hawaii, Abu Dhabi and Singapore before returning to play at the Feb. 11-14 Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Editing by Peter Rutherford