Reigning SMBC Singapore Open champion Prayad is fit and ready to go
Sentosa, Singapore, January 17: Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand is feeling physically fantastic and he is ready to defend his title at the US$1 million SMBC Singapore Open that starts tomorrow.
Last year, the 51-year-old held off the challenge of the likes of compatriot Phachara Khongwatmai and Korea’s Younghan Song, golfers who are a fraction of his age, to lift the coveted trophy at the Asian Tour season-opener.
Prayad is one of the most successful golfers on the Asian Tour with 10 titles under his belt. He has also been immensely successful on the Japan Senior Tour in 2017, winning four times and topping the money list for the second consecutive year.
The affable golfer attributed his good form to a clean and healthy lifestyle. He sleeps early, exercises regularly and refrains from smoking as well as drinking.
Marquee golfers Sergio Garcia of Spain and Ryo Ishikawa of Japan will also be teeing off at the Sentosa Golf Club.
Garcia will be remembered for winning the Masters in 2017. He started well in Singapore last year, finishing tied-11th, and his form led to a win in Dubai before his victory at Augusta National Golf Club. He’ll be looking to put on a solid display of golf this week.
Ishikawa has recovered from his back injury that has hampered his tenure on the PGA Tour. He is now feeling 100 per cent and he will be focusing his efforts on the Japan Golf Tour in 2018, which opens with the SMBC Singapore Open.
The SMBC Singapore Open is jointly-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organization.
Did you know:
Prayad Marksaeng was never in the top-10 in the first three rounds of the 2017 SMBC Singapore Open. He was four shots off the leader, Adam Scott, going into Sunday.
He waited for two hours before he was confirmed as the champion. Prayad was in the earlier groupings and he had the privilege of enjoying his lunch while seeing the leading pack falter.
Prayad will be teeing off on Thursday with 2016 SMBC Singapore Open champion Younghan Song and Japan Golf Tour Organization 2017 prize money list leader Yusaku Miyazato.
Apart from his win in 2017, Prayad’s best performance at the Singapore Open was tied-10th in 2010.
Sergio Garcia is competing at the SMBC Singapore Open for the second consecutive year. In 2017, he carded a five-under-par 279 total and finished tied-11th.
The Spaniard has been very successful in the region. He won the 2012 Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia, 2013 Thailand Golf Championship in Thailand and the 2015 Ho Tram Open in Vietnam.
Garcia is nominated for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award this year for his Masters triumph in 2017.
Ryo Ishikawa is the youngest player to win on any of the major tours worldwide. He was 15 years old when he won the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup.
He turned professional when he was 16 years old and has won 14 times on the Japan Golf Tour so far.
Ishikawa received a special exemption to play in the Masters in 2013. That year, he finished tied-38th.