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Jazz with Rose, Ishikawa in opening rounds

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The expected big galleries are in for a treat at Sentosa Golf Club on Thursday and Friday with the draw for the SMBC Singapore Open throwing up several blockbuster groups.

One of the main fan-pullers will be the 8.10 am tee off at the 10th hole featuring defending champion Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand, England’s world number nine Justin Rose and Japan star Ryo Ishikawa.

Jazz has moved up to world number 38 after winning four times in 2019 while Ishikawa, whose wunderkind exploits ignited world golf, is coming off a fantastic season on the Japan Tour where he posted three victories.

The Asian duo will be keen to perform well alongside Major winner and Olympic gold medallist Rose.

The group ahead of them at 8.00 am on the 10th also falls in the mouthwatering category as Major winner and Olympic silver medallist Henrik Stenson of Sweden, Japan’s Yuta Ikeda, who has 21 Japan Tour titles to his name, and American John Catlin, a four-time champion on the Asian Tour including three successes in 2018, do battle.

Promising Singapore amateur James Leow, the reigning SEA Games champion, is sure to have a good following when he tees off from the 10th at 8.20 am, directly behind Jazz, Rose and Ishikawa.

The featured group on Thursday afternoon starts from the first at 1.00 pm with American Matt Kuchar, a multiple winner on the PGA Tour, being joined by talented Indian Shiv Kapur, an Asian Tour stalwart who had a couple of runner-up finishes to his name in 2019, and Japan’s Yusaku Miyazato, a seven-time winner on the Japan Tour.

Thailand veteran Prayad Marksaeng, who won the SMBC Singapore Open in 2017 aged 50, is in the next group off the first at 1.10 pm while Korea’s Hosung Choi, whose whacky but amazingly effective swing has gone viral, tees off the first at 12.40 pm.

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