GOLF prodigy, Scott Vincent (pictured) will have an early opportunity to book a place in a major championship field for the first time in his professional career when he tees off in the $1 000 000 SMBC Singapore Open tomorrow. BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The SMBC Singapore Open, which is the first event on the 2017 Asian Tour schedule, will be played at Sentosa Golf Club with four players who finish in the top 12 and ties, who are not already exempt, qualifying for the 146th British Open Championship to be played at Royal Birkdale in England from July 16-23.
Vincent, who missed the cut in his first tournament of the year at last week’s BMW South African Open Championship, will be eager to regain form on his return to Asia after a memorable debut season last year.
The 24-year-old rising star, who plays out of Chapman Golf Club in the capital, was last month named the Asian Tour Rookie of the Year following a stellar 2016 campaign, where he finished a respectable 28th on the final Order of Merit standings.
Vincent earned a cool $136 812, thanks to two top-10s in six tournaments, including a runner-up finish at the Shinhan Donghae Open in Korea in September.
A similar perfomance this week would see the former St John’s College student becoming the first Zimbabwean golfer to play at the British Open since Nick Price’s last appearance at St Andrews in 2005.
Former World number one, Price won the Open Championship at Turnberry in 1994.
Vincent will rub shoulders with some of the world’s top golfers such as two-time Open Championship winner, Ernie Els from South Africa, Australian Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia from Spain, and defending champion Younghan Song, who are all scheduled to play in Singapore’s national open.
South Korea’s Song recorded a narrow victory over then world number one Jordan Spieth in a dramatic Monday play-off to win the 2016 title.
The British Open is golf’s oldest championship. Played since 1860 on iconic British and Irish links courses, it is the sport’s most international major championship with qualifying events on every continent.