Fernandez-Castano wins in Singapore playoff

PATRICK JOHNSTON
Last updated 13:42 14/11/2011

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Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano rolled in a birdie putt at the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the US$6 million (NZ$7.6 million) weather-affected Singapore Open and deny plucky Filipino Juvic Pagunsan an unlikely victory.

Fernandez-Castano rolled in an eight-foot effort at the par-five 18th to claim the US$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.

On their third attempt at completing the shoot-out for the title, the duo returned to the course at 7.30am on Monday to hit their third shots to the 18th.

Juvic 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.

Both players again chose to lay up when they played the hole for a second time with Fernandez-Castano landing his approach a couple of feet inside Pagunsan's ball on the green.

The Filipino, who has one win on the Asian Tour in 2007, rolled his downhill effort just right off the cup and the Spaniard made no mistake on his first opportunity to win it but appeared more relieved than overjoyed when the ball dropped in the cup.

The muted reaction in front of a sparse crowd was likely to have stemmed from the fact that Fernandez-Castano had held a four-shot lead on the back nine before folding under pressure.

Pagunsan drained a 12-foot birdie putt on the 54th and final hole on Sunday to record a four-under 67 before overnight leader Fernandez-Castano recovered to hole a similar-length putt for par and a one-over round of 72 after finding water off the tee.

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- Reuters

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