Suva – American Matt Kuchar won the Fiji International at Natadola Bay on Sunday, seeing off a blistering late challenge from three-time major champion Vijay Singh who set a new course record.
World number 16 Kuchar’s consistency proved the key at a tournament dogged by windy conditions. He fired a second consecutive three-under 69 to snare the title, four shots ahead of Australia’s Aron Price.
But it was local hero Singh who caught the eye in the final round on the course he designed for the Aus$1.125m event.
Singh, who has not won an event for seven years and was in 33rd position after Thursday’s opening round, hit a seven-under 65 to shave two shots off the course record.
The veteran managed seven birdies to finish joint third with New Zealand’s Ryan Fox and Australian Nick Cullen, five shots behind Kuchar.
Kuchar attributed his victory to “solid” golf in challenging conditions, particularly during the early rounds.
“I felt I was surviving but played some really steady, good golf and that was a real difference,” he said.
The Fiji event is co-sanctioned by OneAsia and the Australasian PGA.
Leading final-round scores (Australian unless stated):
284 – Matt Kuchar (USA)
288 – Aron Price
289 – Vijay Singh (FIJ), Ryan Fox (NZL), Nick Cullen
294 – Daniel Valente, Brad Shilton (NZL)
295 – Matthew Guyatt, Peter Wilson