Adam Scott believes that the US$6 million Barclays Singapore Open stands up as one of the pinnacles of Asian golf as he this year attempts to win the respected title for a fourth time.
The World Number Six, whose challenge will commence at Sentosa Golf Club from November 8-11 against a stellar line-up including World Number One Rory McIlroy and four-time Major winner Phil Mickelson, agrees that the event’s history, stature, strength of field and prize money singles the Singapore Open out as one of the most important tournaments held on the Asian continent.
“In some ways it is the event that kicked off the big tournaments around Asia,” said the Australian. “It is certainly a hugely respected event in the world of golf.”
Since the re-birth of the storied Singapore Open in 2005, prize money has jumped from US$2 million to US$6 million thanks to the backing of Barclays and Sentosa and since then marquee names such as Scott, Angel Cabrera, Jeev Milkha Singh, Ian Poulter and last year Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano have been etched on the trophy.
Scott has an unparalleled record in the Barclays Singapore Open with victories in 2005, 2006 and 2010 and two third-place finishes (2007 and 2009) but he cannot put his finger on the secret to slaying the feared Serapong Course.
“Well, if I really knew the answer the two third place finishes would have been victories,” he joked. “I guess it is just a golf course that suits my style of play and so I am always playing shots that feel natural to me.
“(My three wins) were all satisfying for different reasons. I think most satisfying will be number four in 2012!”
Scott did not defend his title in 2011 due to a clash of dates with the Emirates Australian Open, but his expectations are high ahead of a return to what has previously been a happy hunting ground and the Adelaide man believes his first victory of the season could come at Sentosa Golf Club.
“It’s true that there are always good feelings for me at Sentosa,” he said. “I like the golf course, the members have always been great to me and I like Singapore. That’s a good recipe.
“I am confident I can win any event I enter, and that’s my main objective so I would like to come to Sentosa having just won the week before, then win the Barclays Singapore Open.
“That would be a nice way to make the season fulfilling.”
Scott, the winner of 18 titles worldwide including eight on the US PGA Tour, came close to a breakthrough in the Majors at this year’s Open Championship before his challenge unravelled with four bogeys in the final four holes.
He was universally praised for the way he handled the loss to Ernie Els, though, and Scott said the biggest lesson he learned from the experience was to improve his game.
“It’s nice that people feel that (I reacted well),” he said. “What did I learn? Play better at Muirfield in 2013!”
The 49th staging of the Barclays Singapore Open will be co-sanctioned between The European Tour and the Asian Tour for the fourth time.