Spieth stutters as Horne closes in on halfway leader

Keith Horne

The chasing pack closed in on overnight leader Song Younghan of Korea when the weather-disrupted second round of the SMBC Singapore Open was completed on Saturday morning while tournament favourite Jordan Spieth endured another day with a cold putter to sit four shots off the pace.

First round leader Keith Horne of South Africa birdied the par-five 18th hole for a 68 to draw within a shot of Song, who roared to a 63 on Friday, with world number 26 An Byeonghun also carding a 68 to lie two strokes off the lead at Sentosa Golf Club.

An is tied with Japanese duo Shintaro Kobayashi, who posted a 69 before the second round was called off on Friday, and Hideto Tanihara, in with a 67 on Saturday.

Rising star Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines also posted a 67 to sit a stroke ahead of birthday boy Prayad Marksaeng (68) and world number one Spieth, who picked up one shot on Saturday morning to record a 70.

Spieth, again followed by huge galleries after re-starting his round on the seventh, struggled with his short putting

The Masters and US Open champion had back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th and picked up another shot at the par-three 17th hole but bogeys at the 13th and final hole soured his round.

“I made all my putts inside six feet yesterday but missed five or six today,” said the 22 year old. “I just have to get comfortable on the shorter length putts”

Spieth said that he had to hole more putts in the third round on Saturday afternoon to close the gap on Song.

“I need to post a good one this afternoon. The course is gettable,” he said.

In-form Horne, fourth in the South African Open earlier this month, played 16 holes on Saturday morning and birdies on the fourth, eighth, 10th and 18th against a single bogey saw him post a 68 and draw within a shot of the lead.

“I was happy to finish with a birdie and am pretty chuffed with three under today,” said the 44 year old veteran who is still looking for his first win on the Asian Tour.

“I didn’t play very well today. I was a little out of sorts.”

Korean An, the European Tour Rookie of the Year in 2015, mixed two birdies with two bogeys in the 11 holes he played on Saturday morning and said that patience was the key around the Serapong Course.

“I could have done better – I missed several eagle and birdie opportunities but that’s what it is. There are still two more rounds to go,” he said.

“I just got to be patient as this is not an easy golf course. You have got to be accurate with your irons and the wind gust can be pretty tricky as well.”

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