SINGAPORE MAKES THE GRADE AT THE OMEGA MISSION HILLS WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFYING
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Lam Chih Bing and Mardan Mamat will represent Singapore for the fifth time in the World Cup after finishing second behind New Zealand at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup Asian Qualifying on Saturday.
New Zealand powered by Michael Hendry and Gareth Paddison closed on four-under-par 67 highlighted by a chip-in birdie from the greenside bunker on the last hole at the Seri Selangor Golf Club.
Their four-day total of 13-under-par 271 was matched by Lam and Mardan, who conceded in the play-off after shooting a final round 72.
Koreans Kim Hyung-sung and Park Sung-joon claimed the last and final ticket to the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China in November after closest rivals Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri of India shot an eight on the par four 18th hole for a final round 80.
“We worked really hard on our games to improve in our careers. It is great to represent our country in the world cup and hopefully go on to make the country proud,” said Hendry, who has won 16 professional titles.
Paddison, a left-hander, who sank the bunker shot on the last, was delighted to win the qualifying after a final round of five birdies, one eagle and three bogeys.
“We combined very well. It has been a great week and we came here with the goal to qualify and it is a fantastic feeling. Somehow being left handed with a right handed partner worked for us on this course,” said Paddison, who together with his partner were dressed in black, New Zealand’s national colours.
Lam and Mardan, who previously partnered in the 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2009 World Cups, were delighted to represent their country again in the two-man team showpiece staged from November 24 to 27.
“We came here with the goal of finishing in the top three and we did just that. It didn’t matter if we finished in first, second or third, just as long as we qualified for the World Cup. That’s why we conceded in the play-off,” said Lam, who also played in the British Open this year.
Mardan, a two-time Asian Tour champion, lauded the sentiments of his playing partner.
“It is a great honour to represent Singapore. We always play well on this golf course and we will definitely be looking forward to playing against the best teams in the World Cup,” said Mardan, who qualified for the World Cup at Seri Selangor in 2006 and 2009.
Koreans Park and Kim, a three-time winner in Korea, said they were lucky to qualify for the World Cup after finishing with a bogey on the last for a 69 and a 275 total.
India needed to birdie the last hole to force a play-off but their dreams of qualifying for the World Cup were dashed when Bhullar’s tee shot landed in thick rough on the 18th hole and Lahiri struggled to chip the ball out to safety.
“It was quite nervy on the last hole because I hit my tee shot into the hazard but Hyung-sung made a long putt (25 foot) from the edge of the green for a good bogey. India had a chance but they dropped a few shots coming in so we feel lucky to win,” said Park, who grew up in New Zealand.
The home team of Shaaban Hussin and Iain Steel closed with a 74 to share sixth place with Filipinos Mars Pucay and Antonio Lascuna on a 278 total.
Fourth round scores
271 – New Zealand (Michael HENDRY, Gareth PADDISON) 65-75-64-67, Singapore (LAM Chih-Bing, Mardan MAMAT) 63-70-66-72
New Zealand won after Singapore conceded in a play-off
275 – Korea (KIM Hyung-Sung, PARK Sung-Joon) 70-69-67-69
278 – Philippines (Mars PUCAY, Antonio LASCUNA) 70-73-63-72, Malaysia (Iain STEEL, Shaaban HUSSIN) 64-77-63-74
280 – India (Gaganjeet BHULLAR, Anirban LAHIRI) 67-69-64-80
283 – Myanmar (Zaw Moe, NAY Bala Win Myint) 66-84-65-68, Pakistan (Muhammad MUNIR, Mohd Shabbir IQBAL) 68-76-66-73
284 – Sri Lanka (Anura ROHANA, Mithun PERERA) 70-70-70-74
292 - Chinese Taipei (TSENG Hua Yen, LIN Kuan Po) 68-79-69-76
298 – Indonesia (Burhan BORA, HARDJITO) 73-75-68-82
299 – Hong Kong (WONG Woon-Man, William FUNG) 73-78-69-79
301 – Ghana (Stephen Kwame KLAH, Godwin SAI ) 77-76-69-79
302 - Vietnam (Michael TRAN, NGUYEN Thai Duong) 76-78-68-80
317 - Senegal (Gueye DIADJI, Niang SAMBA) 74-83-69-91
DSQ – Brunei (Pengiran Hassanal, Moksin JINAIDI) 78-83-DSQ-DSQ