Barclays Singapore Open preview

The European Tour remains in Asia this week for the Barclays Singapore Open. A strong field has assembled including Major champions Graeme McDowell, Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington.

Graeme McDowell

Lowdown: The European Tour remains in Asia this week for the Barclays Singapore Open. A strong field has assembled including Major champions Graeme McDowell, Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington. This event has been a stop on the Asian Tour since 1961 but, since 2009, it has also been co-sanctioned by the European Tour. In the last two years the tournament has produced world-class winners in Ian Poulter and Adam Scott. Last season Scott produced four rounds in the 60s to win by three from Denmark's Anders Hansen. The set-up for the event was altered slightly last year. The field was extended from 156 to 204 and play is now over two courses - the Serapong and the Tanjong - for the first two days. Those who make the cut play a further two rounds on the Serapong. With almost €4,500,000 up for grabs this week and with €720,000 going to the winner, this is one of Asia's richest events. It provides a great opportunity for players to climb the Race to Dubai standings. As such, it's attracted a very strong field. Former Barclays Scottish Open winner and 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell is looking forward to the challenge. "It's one of the biggest tournaments of our season," he said. "It always has a strong field and I enjoy this course." There are seven further Major champions on the start sheet this week. They are: Retief Goosen, Ernie Els and Louis Oosthuizen from South Africa, Phil Mickelson from the US, Korea's Y.E. Yang, Padraig Harrington from Ireland and Scotland's Paul Lawrie. The field is made up of 77 players from The European Tour and 77 from the Asian Tour. There are 10 sponsor's invites and further places have been divided among members of the China, Indian, Japanese, Korean and ASEAN PGA Tours. The final spots go to the Singapore PGA and the Singapore Golf Association's leading amateurs, alongside the five players who qualified on The Tanjong course on November 1. Venue: Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore Date: Nov 10-13 Course stats: Serapong par 71, 7,357 yards; Tanjong par 71, 6,625 yards Purse: €4,360,000 Winner: €720,876 Defending Champion: Adam Scott (-17)

TV Coverage: Thursday 10 - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 5am Friday 11 - Live on Sky Sports 2 from 5am Saturday 12 - Live on Sky Sports 1 from 3am Sunday 13 - Live on Sky Sports 1 from 3am

Player Watch: Graeme McDowell - He produced some excellent golf last week in Shanghai to finish in third spot. Other than champion Martin Kaymer, he was the only player to complete four rounds in the 60s. If he can carry that form through to this week, he could well contend.

Louis Oosthuizen - Another man who's game is showing great promise of returning to its Major winning potential. He played superbly in Shanghai and would have finished far higher than his eventual 7th if he'd managed better than level par on the final day.

Richie Ramsay - Third in his last two starts - the Castello Masters, then the Andalucia Masters. He played some very accurate, controlled golf at Valderrama and, if he can re-find that form, he might have a chance here. Key hole: 18th (Serapong.) A par 5 of 542 yards, this is a great finishing hole. Reachable in two for most, a lake lurks all down the left hand side. The hole turns from right to left so anything with a touch too much draw on it could end up wet.

Skills required: Driving. With only one par 4 under 400 yards the Serapong course requires long and straight hitting from the tee. Five of the par 4s measure over 450 yards and the shortest par 5 is 542 yards. Where next? Bill Elliott - Steve Williams: Damaged goods

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?