Defending champion Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand was full of praise for 2020 SMBC Singapore Open winner Matt Kuchar after just coming up short at Sentosa Golf Club on Sunday.
“Matt was amazing you know, after that eight (at the seventh hole) he still recovered and won with class,” said world number 38 Jazz, who finished third after closing with a 71.
“I mean, it’s just amazing to see what top players in the world can do, and really good to experience it up close.
“I have got a lot to learn you know. There are many things to improve and after playing alongside Matt Kuchar I can see that I need to do a lot of things. It’s really a good opportunity to play with these guys and see what it takes to step up to the next level.”
Teenage standout Kim Joohyung, a winner at the Panasonic Open last year in just his third start on the Asian Tour, also closed with a 71 and although disappointed not to mount a challenge the 17 year old was pleased to punch a ticket for The Open.
“Obviously today wasn’t the round that I would have hoped for. Still, I played really good in these conditions. I wish I could have four rounds under par, but even in the final round in the wind wasn’t too bad with these pins,” said Kim, who finished fourth, five shots behind the winner.
“I’m definitely really happy, and really excited that I took the ticket to The Open. It was my goal to try to qualify for a Major, and for it to happen the second tournament of the year, and to be The Open, is a dream come true.”
Richard T. Lee of Canada, who played the US Open in 2007 aged 16, was overjoyed at grabbing a spot in The Open at Royal St George’s in July.
“I may not have won the tournament but I got myself a ticket to The Open. I kind of struggled today with my shots and my putts but how I turned things around on the back nine pretty good and I am very glad about the way I finished,” said Lee, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour who closed with a 72.
“The Open is going to be the second Major that I will play in so I am definitely going to work really hard and get ready for it in July.
“I love playing links courses so I will try to find my best. I worked really hard over the off season which was only like two weeks and a half.
“I am pretty impressed with how I played although I still need to work on a few more things. Putting especially. But overall, I am glad about how I played today.”
Poom Saksansin of Thailand birdied three of the last four holes on the Serapong course to card a best-of-the-day 65 and clinch a place in The Open.
“I am happy I gave myself a chance to qualify for The Open. It’s going to be my first time playing in a Major tournament,” said Poom, who has three wins to his credit on the Asian Tour.
“I came into this week with no confidence because I have been trying to fix my swing during last three months. But this week, I played really well and I think I have regained the confidence with my swing.
“This is a long course for me. It doesn’t really suit my game. But the greens are nice here and I putted well. I am looking forward to the experience of playing in a Major already. It’s going to be the biggest stage that I have ever played so I am very excited.”