Ahead of the SMBC Singapore Open next January, we take a look at some of the great rounds over Sentosa Golf Club’s famed Serapong Course during past tournaments. In our third article in the short series, the spotlight is trained on the course record 67 shot by Fiji’s Vijay Singh in the final round of the 2007 Singapore Open.
It was, on the face of it, a mission impossible.
Six shots off the lead at the start of the final round, few people gave Vijay Singh of Fiji an earthly of reigning in Argentina’s Angel Cabrera at the top of the leaderboard.
No matter that Singh was a three-time Major champion, the firm greens, tucked pins and fresh wind would surely pose too massive a challenge.
Singh, though, is made of stern stuff and he produced the round of the day and, arguably, the tournament to come within a shot of forcing a play-off with Cabrera.
His four-under-par 67 was four shots better than anybody else could muster and put the frighteners on Cabrera who was playing in the group behind Singh.
With Singh slightly misreading his 20-foot eagle putt on the par-five 18th, Cabrera needed a birdie to lift the title and he was up to the task.
“It was very tough out there today and very windy. I did what I needed to do to win. I knew that Vijay was putting together a good round and playing well. It was up to me to play well on the last two holes and I did that. I like challenges, I like tough courses,” said Cabrera.
Singh was proud of his final-day effort that so nearly delivered glory.
“I’m playing against a guy who is the US Open champion and you can’t expect him to make too many mistakes,” he reflected.
“I played well, made some good putts on the front nine and putted well all day. Just came up one short.”
Singh knew he needed to convert his eagle chance on the last hole to force a play-off as he expected Cabrera to birdie the 18th.
“I looked back and I saw Angel hit it 400 yards down the middle (of the fairway). He was going in with a medium or a short iron, so I knew he would make at least a birdie (on the last),” recalled Singh.
The Fijian made things interesting very quickly in the last round.
He birdied the second hole before giving the shot straight back with a bogey at the next. However, a superb eagle three at the fourth and back-to-back bogeys on six and seven saw him reach the turn in 32.
That put him just two shots behind Cabrera and it was very much game on.
Singh hit a speed bump with a bogey on the 13th but his birdie on the last set the scene for a gripping finale to a great week’s golf.
He finished in second place, four shots ahead of defending champion Adam Scott whose comment about the difficult conditions underlined the brilliance of Singh’s 67.
“The winds were blowing and the pins were really tucked. With the greens being this firm it was difficult to get it near the hole,” said Scott after his even-par 71.