Porsche Singapore Classic: Five things to know

By Emily Kay 3 months ago

The DP World Tour arrives in Asia for the Porsche Singapore Classic this week, marking the start of the Asian Swing – the third Swing of five in Phase One of the 2024 Race to Dubai. Here are your five things to know.

The start of the Asian Swing

Following the International Swing, the Asian Swing kicks off in Singapore, before heading to New Delhi for the Hero Indian Open. A one-week break then follows, before the world’s best golfers descend on Augusta National Golf Club for the first Major of the year.

The Tour then visits South Korea and Japan for the second editions of the Korea Championship and ISPS HANDA – CHAMPIONSHIP respectively, before a Swing Champion is crowned after the Volvo China Open, which is returning to the schedule for the first time since 2019. The second Major of the year, the subsequent U.S. PGA Championship, will immediately follow, but while points accrued in the Major Championships will count on the Race to Dubai Rankings, they will not count in the Swing Rankings.

So what’s on offer? As with the other Swings, the Swing Champion will earn $200,000 from an overall $1million Bonus Pool. Swing Champions will also qualify for each of the ‘Back 9’ events, while they will also earn an exemption into the next Rolex Series event. In the case of the Asian Swing, this means an exemption into the Genesis Scottish Open.

Strydom defends

Ockie Strydom stormed to a second DP World Tour title in six starts in last year’s Singapore Classic after a spotless final-round nine under par 63 earned him a one-shot victory over Finland’s Sami Välimäki. The South African had entered the final day at Laguna National Golf Resort Club four shots behind overnight leaders Jeunghun Wang and Alejandro del Rey but surged to the top of the leaderboard with the low round of the week. Despite first Del Rey and then Välimäki holding three-shot leads at different times on Sunday, Strydom finished with four birdies in his closing six holes, including a brilliant up-and-down at the last to clinch the title.

Although he was unable to kick-on from that success, at a point making just one cut in 15 events on the DP World Tour last season, the 38-year-old returns to Singapore with a string of decent results to his name on the DP World Tour in 2024. A tied fourth finish in Bahrain was followed by a tie for 16th in Qatar and a tie for 31st back in South Africa at the SDC Championship. While his most recent result was a missed cut in the International Swing-ending Jonsson Workwear Open, a week off to regroup will have helped as he returns with favourable memories.

Subtle changes to Singapore’s replica of the 17th at TPC Sawgrass

One of the most interesting facts about Laguna National, is that its 17th green is a replica of the iconic 17th at TPC Sawgrass, where The PLAYERS was contested last week. The key difference is that it is a slightly longer hole in length than it’s American lookalike, playing between 180-200 yards rather than the roughly 130 yards at Sawgrass.

In preparation for this year’s tournament, some subtle changes were made in order to give the option of more pin positions. In the video below, DP World Tour Referee Andrew Snoddy explains what’s new for 2024.

“It’s a similar design in the green, (with) the famous back shelf on the left here that they have in Sawgrass, and this right hand pin position down by the radio,” he says.

“In 2023 we couldn’t use this area, it was just too severe, and a ball coming down this slope just ran to the fringe. So after the tournament was over last year, we spoke to the team here and we’ve pushed this fringe back a yard and a half, nearly two yards. That allows us a bit more space so the ball hopefully from a safe shot, let’s say, to this area can be putted down this slope.

“It’s hard to see on on on camera but this is quite a severe slope down to the ball so when we’re setting pin positions, you know a good shot that comes in here and then comes off this slope will go near the hole, but with a shot that’s played safe into the middle of green, we still want to give the player the opportunity to be able to get down in two. That is, you know, to get it within around about a putter’s length or just under that so they can so hit a putt from what we would call a safe shot here to the centre of the green and be able to get a put down there. A difficult putt, but playable nonetheless.”

Similarly, the 16th green has also been designed to accomodate a new pin position.

Inside the field

Major champion Shane Lowry tees it up in Singapore for the first time in 12 years this week and is joined by a plethora of DP World Tour winners.

World Number 27 Matthieu Pavon is the highest ranked player in the field as he makes his first start on the DP World Tour since becoming a PGA TOUR winner earlier this year, and is joined by several European stars, including Rasmus HøjgaardTom McKibbinYannik Paul, and the three most recent champions: Matteo Manassero, Darius van Driel, and Jordan Gumberg,

Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino, who won his maiden DP World Tour title at last month’s Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, is joined by a host of other Asian stars such as Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Gavin Green and Li Haotong. Singapore will be represented by three golfers – Nicklaus Chiam, Joshua Yap and amateur Irvyn Tan qualified for the US$2,500,000 Porsche Singapore Classic last month.

A European Tour Destination

Host venue of the DP World Tour’s 2024 Porsche Singapore Classic, Laguna Resort Singapore is one of Southeast Asia’s premier golf and country clubs, and is one of 26 European Tour Destinations.

It features two critically-acclaimed 18-hole courses that have recently been upgraded and which possess a rich, international championship hosting history, having hosted the European Tour’s Singapore Masters, the Korean LPGA’s ADT Caps Tour Championship. One of those, Laguna National, is set to once again welcome the DP World Tour’s Singapore Classic.

Located within 10 minutes of the city’s Changi Airport, Laguna Resort Singapore guests can take advantage of the onsite 5* Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore hotel, which offers three swimming pools, three tennis courts, a putting green, a gym and its signature Devarana Spa, not to mention a variety of gastronomic options.

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