Trio tied for first round lead at SMBC Singapore Open

American Berry Henson and Shintaro Kobayashi of Japan joined Keith Horne atop the leaderboard when the first round of the SMBC Singapore Open was completed on Friday morning.

Henson carded a routine par at his final hole, the ninth on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club, for a 66 while Kobayashi matched that number with three birdies and two bogeys in an up and down six-hole stretch.

Overnight leader Horne, Henson and Kobayashi are a shot ahead of world number one Jordan Spieth and rising star An Byeonghun, who both completed their rounds on Thursday.

First round play was suspended on Thursday due to lightning with Henson and Kobayashi among the 57 players who had to return at 7.30am to complete their round.

Henson had a chance to snatch the outright lead but saw his 20-foot birdie putt inch narrowly past the cup.

“I had a tough shot on nine, a hanging lie and five iron which is tough to hit in the morning but I hit it right where I wanted to and had a pretty good look for a chance to get to six under,” said Henson, whose sole victory on the Asian Tour came at the 2011 Philippine Open.

“It was makeable. Jordan Spieth hit the same putt on Thursday and my caddy and I saw it – I had a little bit of a different angle, broke left at the start and came back right at the end. I hit a good putt just got it on the wrong line.”

Henson streaked up the leaderboard with three birdies on the trot from the fourth hole on Thursday.

“I played great all day on Thursday. I made some key saves in my round and then I made a couple of birdies you are not supposed to make from tough positions. One of those days where everything kind of fell together,” said the 36-year-old Californian.

“I still need to clean it up a bit and make it a little bit easier on myself today. Very happy with the round.”

Kobayashi belied his lowly world ranking of 706th to join the leaders by mixing birdies on the fourth (his 13th hole), seventh and ninth holes with bogeys at the sixth and eighth.

“It was a nice round. I feel very comfortable with my putter this week and thinking like that I don’t have to be aggressive on my approach shots,” he said.

“I am managing the course well. I do not have much time until the start of the second round. Only a quarter of the tournament is done – I will just have to keep playing my style of golf.”

Check Also

Relentless Sadom makes it six in Singapore

Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana secured the biggest title of his fledgling career and confirm…