Greg Norman's LIV Golf heads back to Asia
England's Lee Westwood loves this part of the world
The Serapong Course is a great fit for Sergio Garcia
After the exhilaration of LIV Golf's debut in Australia - a week that quite clearly razzle-dazzled those who turned up - the circuit moves north to Singapore and the good news for Greg Norman is that he likes it there.
In fact, a couple of decades ago when chatting about the island, he dropped a pretty big hint about his future eagerness to jump into bed with statesmen who prefer autocracy to democracy.
The Great White Shark was playing in the first round of the 2005 Heineken Classic, and both he and playing partner Colin Montgomerie were miked up to provide Fox Sports viewers with rare insight.
When the commentators watched the pair wander down the fourth hole they tuned in, hoping for some of that revealing chatter. That's exactly what they got.
Norman asked Montgomerie what he had made of Singapore the previous week, Monty explained that he'd liked it and Norman said: "That's where dictatorships work. It's clean."
Last week, of course, the stadium hole in Adelaide witnessed full flagons of beer being hurled around by the thousand and you suspect that Singapore's chiefs might not appreciate such drunken giddiness.
And I'm hoping for no more downing pints from shoes, another of the larks from the Australian larrikins.
As someone who gags at the prospect of drinking anything from the inside of the Claret Jug (it's ancient, it's surely impossible to clean properly and it almost certainly makes everything taste tinny) the idea revolts me more than elite-level golf's shameless pursuit of money.
Anyway, the tournament takes place at Sentosa, a resort that has hosted the Singapore Open 14 times (four of them co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour, most of them featuring an appearance fee-bolstered field).
Adam Scott is a three-time course winner while, of those teeing it up this week, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter are both former winners. Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Paul Casey and Sihwan Kim have all landed top five finishes.
(Kim, by the way, is enduring an astoundingly miserable run: he averages 77 in his last 14 rounds, has never broken 74 in that spell and has ended every round in the last three LIV event plumb last.)
It's been a big week for Lee Westwood who turned 50 on Monday and celebrated it with a posh pudding, alongside wife Helen plus Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson (the last two looking oddly alike in the photo).
Dave Tindall, a big fan of Keith Elliott's betting tomes, will be alive to the significance of big dates and I'm minded to believe that the Englishman will be keen to celebrate in style on the course.
It might be the prompt he needs to kickstart a year that hasn't gone too well.
He got into the mix in a couple of 2022 LIV events and ended the year consistently, but has landed only one top 20 in 2023.
However, he has gone sub-70 in three of his last six laps and did start the Orlando event with a 66.
The clincher is the venue and the location.
The Serapong Course at Sentosa is a par-71 at 7,436 yards and it is quite demanding from the tee, with blustery winds plus water and/or sand down the fairways.
Westwood, an exceptional ball-striker, has played it three times and finished second, eighth and fifth.
He really enjoys playing golf in this steamy, humid region of Asia with sticky grass. In Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia he's teed it up 27 times landing 14 top fives, seven of them wins.
Many of those fields won't have been deep but then neither is this one.
This could be the week his 2023 finds its mojo.
Keep with the course form and add Sergio Garcia. He's recorded only two top fives in his 11 LIV starts but, like Westwood, this is a sweet spot for him.
Many of the holes on the Serapong are on the bay, some feature water down both sides, the wind whipping across. It has suited Garcia's stellar long game.
He finished 11th on debut there in 2017, lifted the trophy in 2018 (winning by five) and he was seventh when defending.
And in those four countries with very similar conditions? He's never played in Indonesia but otherwise he's made 13 appearances, registering six top fives, three of them wins.
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