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Delos Santos wavers with 74, ends up joint 14th as Thai cruises

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Delos Santos wavers with 74, ends up joint 14th as Thai cruises
In this Jan. 23, 2022 photo, Filipino golfer Justin delos Santos competes at the Singapore Open.
SMBC Singapore Open

MANILA, Philippines — Justin delos Santos lost his way trying to mount a final round rally to fuel a career breakthrough bid, ending up instead with a 74 on shaky frontside start for joint 14th in the Singapore Open ruled by Sadom Kaewkanjana in straightforward fashion at Sentosa’s Serapong course yesterday.

The Thai pounced on erstwhile co-leader American Sihwan Kim’s bogey-bogey start against a birdie on the ninth and built a three-stroke cushion with a solid frontside 34 then held sway with a run of pars at the back to coast to a three-shot win over Japan’s Yuto Katsuragawa and Kim Joo Hyung of Korea with a 69 and a 13-under 271 total worth $225,000

Delos Santos moved to within four strokes off the pace with a third round 68 Saturday but misfired in the early going, bogeying the first hole and blowing it all after yielding three strokes on the par-4 No. 3.

He birdied the seventh but bogeyed the next although he made some good recoveries in the last nine holes, birdying Nos. 10 and 13 against a bogey on the 12th to salvage a 34 and a 74 for a 280 total for joint 14th with Malaysian Ben Leong, who fought back with a 69. Each received $17,688.

Meanwhile, Angelo Que failed to check a so-so 75 in the third round as he skied to a 79 marred by seven bogeys and a double bogey against a birdie that dropped him down to 70th in the surviving field of 74 with a 294 total.

He also blew his Open Championship bid with his worst finish in four days.

The four top players this week who are not seeded in this year’s Open in Scotland earned slots in the storied event along with the Top 30 in the Asian Tour Order of Merit rankings.

Que, who stood at No. 30 before the Singapore Open, the final event of the integrated seasons, and ended up at 32nd.

England’s former world No. 3 Paul Casey, on the other hand, found his range and rhythm late, closing out with a five-under 66 to save a joint 16th finish at 281, still way off his runner-up effort in 2019.

Sihwan Kim failed to recover from his 37 start and dropped farther back with three straight bogeys from No. 11. He, however, birdied two of the last five to finish with a 275 for fourth worth $62,500.

That enabled Katsuragawa, a former Manila Southwoods mainstay, and Kim Joo Hyung, who honed his talents at Riviera where he reigned as national champion in 2018, to share runner-up honors at 274 after the former closed out with a second straight 68 and the latter finishing with a 69. They split the combined $216,250 prize.

Kim Joo Hyung’s solid finish coupled with his victory in the Singapore International via playoff last week also netted him the Order of Merit crown, becoming one of the youngest to clinch the coveted title at 19.

GOLF

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