He produced a final round bettered only by six players including Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose yet New South Welshman Travis Smyth fell just short of earning an invitation to The Open Championship at the SMBC Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club.
Smyth and Newcastle-based Andrew Dodt were the two Aussies best positioned prior to the start of the final round of one of the Asian Tour’s premier events with Smyth the one to make a surge up the leaderboard courtesy of a 3-under front nine of 33.
A fourth birdie at the dogleg right par-4 11th moved Smyth up to 9-under and into a tie for seventh, the lure of one of four invitations to Royal St George’s in July for the top four finishers not otherwise exempt the major motivation over the closing holes.
A dropped shot at the 487-metre par-4 12th was earned back with a birdie at the 13th but consecutive bogeys at 14 and 15 quelled Smyth’s momentum, a birdie at the 72nd hole earning him a share of 11th, three shots shy of the number required to book a berth at The Open.
Given his tie for 13th at the Hong Kong Open the week prior, Smyth is now 10th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit with countryman Wade Ormsby leading the way following his Hong Kong Open triumph.
It was a disappointing final day for Dodt who lost ground to the field with a 5-over 76 to finish tied for 41st along with Victorian Matthew Griffin who signed for a Sunday 72.
American Matt Kuchar held off a fast-finishing Rose to win by three strokes with Joohyung Kim, Richard T Lee, Poom Saksansin and Ryosuke Kinoshita the players to progress via The Open Qualifying Series.
The Asian Tour now has a break for the Qualifying School tournaments and will resume at the co-sanctioned New Zealand Open in Queenstown from February 27.
SMBC Singapore Open
Sentosa Golf Club (Serapong Cse)
T11 Travis Smyth 69-68-71-68—276 $US16,283
T41 Matthew Griffin 72-68-73-72—285 $5,670
T41 Andrew Dodt 69-69-71-76—285 $5,670
T65 David Micheluzzi 70-71-75-77—293 $2,750
MC Terry Pilkadaris 72-72—144
MC Won Joon Lee 68-76—144
MC Jake Higginbottom 75-71—146
MC Josh Younger 74-72—146
MC Dylan Perry 72-75—147
MC Michael Hendry 73-74—147
MC David Gleeson 75-73—148
MC Marcus Fraser 73-76—149
MC David Bransdon 77-73—150
MC Aaron Pike 77-75—152
WD Daniel Nisbet 73