UPDATE 2-Golf-Manassero clinches Singapore Open after playoff

Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:08pm IST

Kishore Pandey, 82, lies on a bed as his daughter, Usha Tiwari, holds him and a priest stands by them (L) at Mukti Bhavan (Salvation House) in Varanasi, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, June 19, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Waiting to die at Salvation House

The city of Varanasi is Hinduism's holiest city and many Hindus believe that dying there and having their remains scattered in the Ganges allows their soul to escape a cycle of death and rebirth.  Slideshow 

(adds quotes)

* Italian registers third victory of professional career

* Oosthuizen blows chance to claim victory in playoff

* McIlroy finishes third to claim order-of-merit title

By John O'Brien

SINGAPORE, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Italian teenager Matteo Manassero displayed all the nerve and experience of a seasoned veteran to edge out Louis Oosthuizen on the third hole of a playoff and claim a thrilling Singapore Open victory on Sunday.

The first two days of the $6 million co-sanctioned event were dampened by lengthy storm delays but with the weather gods smiling down on the Sentosa Golf Club, the tournament reached a gripping climax over the final two rounds.

As an impressive Manassero threatened to run away with the event on a day when he ended up playing 36 holes, the 2010 Open Championship winner Oosthuizen emerged from the pack and could and should have won the tournament in the playoff.

The duo birdied the par-five 18th in regulation to finish locked on 13-under 271 and after they repeated the feat on the first extra hole, Oosthuizen had a four-foot birdie putt to claim the title on the next but his nervous effort horseshoed around the back of the cup.

Both men found the fairway on their third attempt at deciding a winner, with the South African's approach landing short and left of the flag before Manassero ripped a beauty that rolled down off a slope to within 10 feet of the hole.

Oosthuizen's eagle putt curled above the hole and his opponent made no mistake, picking up a third European Tour event before his 20th birthday with an assured putt into the middle of the cup that was met with a joyous roar from the packed gallery.

"It has been an extremely long day, the adrenaline kept me going and the playoff was just a great honour to play with Louis," Manassero told reporters.

"It's the first playoff of my career and it has just been amazing really. Of course to end it with an eagle was great."

MCILROY SURGE

Almost forgotten in the mayhem was a brilliant final round six-under 65 from world number one Rory McIlroy that lifted the Briton up to third place on 10-under and secured the European Tour order-of-merit title with two events to spare.

"I played well all week but just didn't convert the birdie chances I gave myself," said the Northern Irishman, who was cheered on all week by tennis-playing girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki.

"I missed a lot of putts over the last four days. If I had holed a few more it would have been a different story. I am very happy how I played today and how I finished."

Halfway leader Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, who closed with a 68, finished a shot further back, and three-times Singapore Open champion Adam Scott of Australia was tied for fifth alongside Italy's Francesco Molinari on eight-under 276.

However, the day belonged to Manassero, who arrived at the course at the crack of dawn to complete his third round and immediately recorded four consecutive birdies on the way to forging a two-shot lead heading into the final 18 holes.

"Fortunately, the key was starting really well this morning after coming back on the course and I started with some birdies in a row which was very good and gave me a lot of adrenaline to go forward," Manassero added.

The 19-year-old Italian stretched his lead to three strokes by the turn as his closest challengers began to wilt in the scorching heat but Oosthuizen was made of sterner stuff and chipped away at Manassero's advantage until he took the lead with his birdie at the last.

Manassero, three groups back of Oosthuizen, had been in defensive mode since the fourth hole and after dropping a shot on the 15th, he needed to attack again and his short birdie putt on the 72nd hole set up the thrilling playoff. (Editing by Amlan Chakraborty and Tom Pilcher)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

SPORTS SHOWCASE

Fastest Man

Fastest Man

Interview - Usain Bolt says his best is yet to come.  Full Article 

After 23 Years

After 23 Years

Mexico is back on the F1 calendar in 2015.  Full Article 

NBA Update

NBA Update

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies to hometown.  Full Article 

Zidane Takes Charge

Zidane Takes Charge

Zidane makes mystery man Markkanen his first Madrid signing.  Full Article 

Rising Star?

Rising Star?

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s pursuit of cricketing excellence.  Full Article 

Dismissing Reports

Dismissing Reports

I'm not heading to PSG, says ex-Juventus boss Conte.  Full Article 

2016 Olympics

2016 Olympics

Interview - World Cup will inspire Rio Olympics - IOC's Bach.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage