Even by Singaporean standards it is a hot day for the final round of the HSBC Women’s World Championship. There was one enterprising soul who was wheeling round a bagful of umbrellas which sold out long before he had completed a couple of holes, though not so quickly as the ice-creams being sold on the hoof by another budding entrepreneur. Local ladies were walking round in cool silk, while visiting spectators were no less interested in finding a spot shade than watching the next birdie.
There were others who found it tough to tug themselves away from the leaderboard. “It’s hot here,” said a Korean gentleman, “but at least I can keep returning to the ice-cream stand just over there. In any case, if I go out to watch, I might have to criss-cross from one player to another and I’m too old for that. Here, I’m not going to miss a thing.”
Who did he want to win? Sung Hyun Park who, was making her fourth birdie of the day even as we spoke. What did he so like about the player?
“I like her because she is very very good and because I can never guess from her expression how she is playing. I like to guess and often I am wrong.”.
A group of Brits, meanwhile, struck lucky when they happened upon a trio of Europeans whom they fully expected to see when it comes to the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, the next tournament on their spectating schedule. The trio in question consisted of Celine Boutier from France, Caroline Masson from Germany, and Bronte Law, the Englishwomen who is slowly but surely making her way up the Solheim Cup points list.
The expectation at the start of the day was that Jutanugarn and Minjee Lee, who had played each of the first three rounds in each other’s company, would stay locked together. As it was, each member of the opening three went her own way at the first, with Lee making a birdie, Jutanugarn a par and Jodi Ewart Shadoff a bogey. And it was not too long afterwards that there was more of the unexpected as Jutanugarn did what everyone can do, from the world’s worst to the world’s best, which is what she is on the rankings, in knocking her ball into the water at the short fourth.
Things were warming up on a day when it couldn’t get any hotter.