History of the Singapore Open

Matt Kuchar fought back from a triple bogey and held off a strong charge from former world number one Justin Rose down the stretch to win the 2020 SMBC Singapore Open and add his name to the famed trophy.

Kuchar staged a grandstand finish with birdies at the 16th and 18th to card a 70 for a three stroke victory over Rose, who picked up four shots on the back nine to sign for a closing 67.

He took the mantle of Singapore Open champion from Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond who held off challenges from world stars Paul Casey and Matthew Fitzpatrick – both from England – to win in 2019.

The win was Jazz’s third on the Asian Tour, his first on the Japan Tour and saw him book a spot in The Open for the second straight year.

In 2018, one of the most famous names in golf was inscribed on the trophy when Spain’s Sergio Garcia triumphed.

The reigning Masters champion and then world number 10 won by a comfortable five strokes for his sixth victory in Asia.

He succeeded Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng, who received an early birthday present when he lifted his 10th Asian Tour title at the 2017 SMBC Singapore Open. Prayad turned 51 the following week.

A year earlier Korean Younghan Song upstaged Jordan Spieth from the United States, who at the time was the world number one, to claim the title following a Monday morning finish.
It was the 50th edition of Singapore’s national Open and also marked the first time the event had been played since 2012.

The tournament was back on the schedule thanks to a three-year title sponsorship deal with the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).

In 2016, the tournament also became a jointly-sanctioned event between the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation. From 2009 to 2012 the Asian Tour had jointly-sanctioned it with the European Tour.

The year 2012 saw Italian teenager Matteo Manassero triumph after a play-off victory over South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen.

Australia’s Adam Scott has the honour of winning Singapore’s national Open the most with a record three victories. He won back-to-back in 2005 and 2006 and completed a hat-trick of victories in 2010 – the latter finishing on Monday morning due to inclement weekend weather.

Two-time Major winner Angel Cabrera of Argentina triumphed in 2007, India’s Jeev Milkha Singh took top spot the following year while Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter from England won in 2009.

Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano was successful in the 2011 edition by beating Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines in a sudden-death play-off – which like 2010 and 2016 also finished on Monday.

Other notable winners of the event include 1998 champion Shaun Micheel from the United States, who won the US PGA Championship in 2003.

Australian Peter Fowler was victorious in 1987, Greg Turner from New Zealand won in 1986 while one of Chinese Taipei’s most famous golfing sons, “TC” Chen, claimed top spot in 1985.

Five players have tasted victory more than once. As well as Scott and Arda the others are Phillips and Chinese Taipei’s Lu Chien-soon and Hsieh Yung-yo.

In its formative years and with a list of past champions that dates back to 1961, the Singapore Open earned its place in the history books as a tournament that helped build the foundations for the development of tournament golf in Asia.

The Lion City’s national Open was part of Asia’s very first professional golf circuit, which was made up of a handful of tournaments in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia and Japan.

Australian Frank Phillips – a two-time Australian Open champion – won the inaugural Singapore Open in 1961 and started the ball rolling for a succession of victories by overseas players.

South African Brian Wilkes triumphed the following year and was followed by countryman Alan Brookes before Australians Ted Ball and Phillips and Ross Newdick of New Zealand were victorious in the ensuing years.

It was Filipino Ben Arda who helped turn the tide in 1967 when he became the first Asian winner. He won again in 1973 and in fact it was not until Terry Gale’s success in 1978 that another non-Asian player claimed the title.

Past Champions of the Singapore Open

2020 Matt Kuchar
2019 Jazz Janewattananond
2018 Sergio Garcia
2017 Prayad Marksaeng
2016 Younghan Song
2012 Matteo Manassero
2011 Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño
2010 Adam Scott
2009 Ian Poulter
2008 Jeev Milkha Singh
2007 Angel Cabrera
2006 Adam Scott
2005 Adam Scott
2001 Thaworn Wiratchant
2000 Jyoti Randhawa
1999 Kenny Druce
1998 Shaun Micheel
1997 Zaw Moe
1996 John Kernohan
1995 Steve Conran
1994 Kyi Hla Han
1993 Paul Moloney
1992 Bill Israelson
1991 Jack Kay
1990 Antolin Fernando
1989 Lu Chien-soon
1988 Greg Bruckner
1987 Peter Fowler
1986 Greg Turner
1985 Chen Tze-ming
1984 Tom Sieckmann
1983 Lu Chien-soon
1982 Hsu Sheng-san
1981 Mya Aye
1980 Kurt Cox
1979 Lu hsi-chuen
1978 Terry Gale
1977 Hsu Chi-san
1976 Kesahiko Uchida
1975 Yutaka Suzuki
1974 Eleuterio Nival
1973 Ben Arda
1972 Takaaki Kono
1971 Haruo Yasuda
1970 Hsieh Yung-yo
1969 Tomio Kamata
1968 Hsieh Yung-yo
1967 Ben Arda
1966 Ross Newdick
1965 Frank Phillips
1964 Ted Ball
1963 Alan Brookes
1962 Brian Wilkes
1961 Frank Phillips

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