Italian tops Singapore Open; Pinoys falter

The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 12 2012 02:33 PM | Updated as of Nov 12 2012 10:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Matteo Manassero of Italy matched South African Louis Oosthuizen’s birdie on the final hole to force a playoff then beat the former British Open champion on the third extra hole with an eagle to capture the $6 million Singapore Open crown at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore yesterday.

Manassero, who fired a flawless seven-under 64 to grab the lead in the weather-delayed third round, finished with 69, giving Oosthuizen, who closed out with a 67, a crack at the crown. Both wound up with 13-under 271s.

But Manassero proved steadier in the end, holing out with an eagle when they played the par-5 18th a third time.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy shot the day’s best of 65 and jumped from 13th to third at 274.

Tony Lascuna rebounded from a third round 74 with a three-under 68 as he bounced back from 58th to joint 33rd at 284.

Last year’s runner-up and reigning Asian Tour No. 1 Juvic Pagunsan reeled from a disastrous backside stint at resumption of the third round Sunday morning, limping home with a 43 marred by a six-over 11 on the 18th for a 77. He closed out with a 78 and ended up joint second-to-last at 296.

Well on his way to a respectable finish after fighting back from an opening 72 with an ace-spiked 69 Saturday, Pagunsan birdied two of his first nine holes in the third round. He improved further with another birdie on the 11th until things turned awry after he bogeyed Nos. 13, 16 and 17.

At the 18th which he bogeyed in the first two rounds, Pagunsan dropped shots one would never have imagined – holing out with an 11. He drove into the water twice and hit his sixth shot into the lake which runs alongside the 18th fairway.

He reached the green in eight and three-putted for that 77.

He birdied No. 2 in the final round but made a triple bogey seven on the third then dropped two shots in the next two holes before hitting another birdied on the ninth for a 39.

Pagunsan then dropped two strokes on the par-4 11th, bogeyed the next and No. 15 for another 39 and a 78 to finish second-to-last in the 72-player surviving field.