Cabrera Wins In Singapore, Mickelson hails Asian Players

One of the biggest weeks in Asian professional golf fittingly produced a big-name winner as US Open champion Angel Cabrera, of Argentina, lifted the Singapore Open title on Sunday.

Cabrera, who led from the second round, closed with a one-over-par 72 to put the finishing touches to an eight-under 276 total and edge Fijian Vijay Singh by one stroke.

Two-time defending champion Adam Scott, of Australia, finished third, five strokes behind the winner.

Cabrera had to fight off a determined challenge by Singh as he fired a birdie on the final hole at the tough Serapong Course on Sentosa Island.

The Fijian, who was six shots off the lead heading into the final round, scored a course-record 67 but he fell only one short of the Argentine.

American Jin Park was third, one stroke behind Scott, on 282 while England’s Lee Westwood failed to mount a challenge on the last day with a 74 for 283.

Cabrera, who won $634,000 in his 17th pro triumph, was delighted with his title, having overcome a field that included American star Phil Mickelson and South African Ernie Els, who missed the cut. He said on the Asian Tour website:

“I am very, very happy to win. It is a world class event with some of the best players in the world like Vijay, Ernie, Adam and Phil. It was an impressive line up and I’m very happy to have outplayed them to win the tournament.”

Mickelson had a strong first two rounds but illness on Saturday prevented him from maintaining a challenge. He had three double bogeys and one triple bogey on the last day but he was happy to have made a rare excursion out of the United States and play in Asia.

“I loved it here. I’m definitely going to come back in the next few years. My family had a great time. I wanted to, obviously, play better. I love the golf course. I love how challenging it is and I’m looking forward to taking another shot at the Serapong Course.”

Earlier in the week, Mickelson was full of praise for the standard of play among the Asian players, who he believes have the potential to make an impact on world golf.

“I didn’t realise how many good players were here in Asia. I noticed it on the driving range, on the putting greens and I noticed it when I played with (Thailand’s) Chapchai (Nirat during the first round) and he is a world class player.”

The $4 million Singapore Open is the richest event on the Asian Tour despite not having joint sanction with the European Tour, which has events in Asia coming up, the highlight being the Hong Kong Open.

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