Photo - Asian Tour
MARDAN EYES HOME VICTORY AT BARCLAYS SINGAPORE OPEN
Singapore: Local hero Mardan Mamat, boosted by winning the biggest cheque of his career last weekend, has the scent of more glory at the star-studded US$6 million Barclays Singapore Open from November 11-14.
Mardan has turned his attention to the most important tournament on his schedule after picking up US$237,500 for a creditable tied fifth place in the limited-field Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia
He enjoyed an emotional victory at the 2006 Singapore Masters, sparking an outpouring of patriotism in the Lion City, and would relish a repeat performance at Sentosa Golf Club.
“I always look forward to my national Open. Every time you play your national Open it is special. It is going to be different format this year, two courses (Serapong and Tanjong), it will be a bit tough,” said Mardan, who celebrated his 43rd birthday last Sunday.
“Winning the Singapore Masters was the highlight of my career. Winning the Singapore Masters was good - if I could win the Barclays Singapore Open it would be super good.”
Mardan faces a huge challenge as one of the best fields ever assembled for a tournament in South-East Asia will contest the Barclays Singapore Open.
Titleholder Ian Poulter of England and the four Major champions of 2010 headline the stellar line-up.
Ulsterman Graeme McDowell, the US Open champion, and Germany’s Martin Kaymer, who beat Bubba Watson in a playoff to win the US PGA Championship, will star alongside Masters champion Phil Mickelson and British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.
Three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington, a European Ryder Cup teammate of Poulter, McDowell and Kaymer, Asia’s first Major winner Y.E. Yang of Korea and Australia’s Adam Scott, back-to-back Singapore Open winner in 2005 and 2006, will also play what is widely regarded as “Asia’s Major”.
Mardan is riding high in seventh place on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit with winnings of just under US$190,000 and feels he can add considerably to that total if “a few putts drop” during the Barclays Singapore Open.
“It is just a matter of making some putts,” he said. “Overall for my game from tee to green I am steady and consistent. It is a case of making the putts. This year I have been making the putts. If I can keep my putting going around the Serapong and Tanjong Courses I should be okay to be up there."
Mardan, who led his fans in a stirring rendition of the national anthem 'Majulah Singapura' at the prize giving after his Singapore Masters win, will feed off the local support.
“There is always high expectation from the crowd - they want local players to play well,” he said. “After playing a lot of Singapore Opens and Singapore Masters I should be able to handle it by now and make it work to my advantage. It is going to be good.”
For the second year running the Barclays Singapore Open will be joint-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and The European Tour and for the first time a field of 204 players will compete on both The Serapong and The Tanjong Courses.
Asian Tour GolfGreedy.com