SINGAPORE – Paul Casey had predicted after the third round of the SMBC Singapore Open on Saturday (Jan 19) that he would need to go “six or seven (under) at least” in the final 18 holes to stand a chance of winning.
The former world No. 3 fulfilled his side of the bargain by shooting a six-under 65 on Sunday, but it was not enough in the end to overhaul a player who was equally on fire.
Casey signed for a total of 16-under 268 (68-67-68-65) to finish tied second with third-round leader Yoshinori Fujimoto of Japan (67-67-66-68), two strokes behind winner Jazz Janewattananond.
Playing a flight ahead of Jazz, Ryder Cup winner Casey got to within one stroke of the 23-year-old Thai after the former bogeyed the 13th hole at Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong Course.
But the 41-year-old Englishman stumbled to a bogey on the 15th which left him with a mountain to climb.
“Ideally, I would have loved to have won this week, but I’m still proud of the way I played,” said world No. 24 Casey, who was the highest-ranked player in the field.
“It was a good round of golf today, nice and tidy. I made only one error, which was my second shot on the 15th.
“I missed the cut last week in Hawaii (Tournament of Champions, tied 16th), so this felt really good. Whenever I travel, I want to play well and perform, and I did that.”
Like Casey, Fujimoto hardly put a foot wrong with just one bogey to go with four birdies.
The stocky Japanese smiled for the cameras during the prize ceremony, but revealed his disappointment at his near miss.
“I played really well for four days and it was so close, just two strokes,” said the world No. 180.
“Up to the last hole, I was thinking I would maybe have a chance with an eagle, but Jazz hit it closer (on the 18th green).
“He’s a good player. Anyone who wins is always a good player.”
Fujimoto, however, received a consolation prize as his performance earned him one of four qualifying spots for July’s The Open Championship.
“I don’t actually know anything about Royal Portrush and playing links golf is always difficult,” said the 29-year-old. “But it’s a nice chance to see and play with the top players in the world.”
Meanwhile, father-and-son pair Davis Love III and Dru Love IV finished within a stroke of each other on 277 (69-68-70-70) and 278 (73-67-73-65) respectively.
Dru matched Jazz and Casey for the low round of the day to finish tied 12th in a group of six players that included Internet sensation Choi Ho-sung (69-69-69-71).
The South Korean, who rose to fame with his “fisherman swing”, managed to make his 12th straight cut.
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