Nervy Fernandez-Castano clinches Singapore Open

Singapore: A nervous, sleep-deprived Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano held it together to roll in a birdie putt at the second sudden-death playoff hole to overcome plucky Filipino Juvic Pagunsan and win the weather-affected Singapore Open on Monday.

The Spaniard drained an eight-foot effort at the par-five 18th to claim the $1 million first prize in the co-sanctioned event after the playoff at the Sentosa Golf Club was suspended twice by heavy rainstorms on Sunday.

It marked a fifth European Tour victory for the 31-year-old Spaniard, four of them in playoffs, and his first since the 2008 British Masters, but the past successes had done little to help on a clear morning in Singapore.

"This is probably the most nervous I have been on the golf course," Fernandez-Castano told reporters as he sat next to the huge trophy.

"It is a strange feeling, I had won four times on tour and been in many playoffs but I have never been as nervous as the last couple of days.”

"It has been a tough morning as it was also a tough night. I didn`t get much sleep, I haven`t slept much in the last couple of days."

The tournament had been reduced to 54 holes after numerous rain delays and it was their third attempt at completing the shoot-out for the title, with the duo returning to the course at 7.30 a.m. on Monday to hit their third shots to the 18th.

Pagunsan went first and fired his approach to five feet but missed the opportunity to claim his first European Tour title when his putt for victory grazed the left edge of the cup after Fernandez-Castano had missed his birdie attempt from nine feet.

Bureau Report

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