Duo Share Lead

Fri 30 Nov 2012

Duo Share Lead

  • SHARE
Khon Kaen, Thailand, November 30: Singapore’s Mardan Mamat believes the key to winning his second Asian Tour title this season lies in his mental strength after he posted a two-under-par 70 to take a share of the early second round lead with England’s Chris Rodgers at the King’s Cup on Friday.
While Rodgers could not matching his opening 64, the Englishman was still delighted to be sitting atop the leaderboard alongside Mardan with his two-day total of 11-under-par 133 at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club.
Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Chen-chih made one of the biggest moves with an impressive 64 to take a share of third place with Philippines’ Elmer Salvador as well as Thailand’s Boonchu Ruangkit and Prom Meesawat at the King’s Cup, which is the third last event on the 2012 Asian Tour Schedule.
After enjoying one of his best ever starts on the Asian Tour with an opening 63, Mardan continued his charge towards his fourth Tour title even though he could not match his first round heroics.
“I played pretty well in my first-nine. I hit some good shots and managed to hole some putts but in my second-nine, I didn’t hit my irons as close to the pin for birdie opportunities. But having said that, I’m still happy by just being able to come back with an under-par score,” said Mardan.
Despite taking the share of the morning lead, Mardan remains wary of the chasing pack as they all hold winning credentials.
“I believe whoever handles the pressure better will win this week’s tournament. I cannot control what others think, I can only control my own emotions and I’ve to focus on what I have to do. After almost two decades of playing experience, I should be able to handle that pressure well,” said Mardan.
Rodgers, who started his round one back of Mardan, is optimistic that he will maintain his position among the leaders with his relaxed frame of mind.
“I’m not sure how you are supposed to follow up on a 64. I tried to do it again but it was not that easy. I had a couple of bogeys which was silly. I maintained my 100% fairways hit and making two bogeys was a bit poor,” said Rodgers, who marked his card with three bogeys against six birdies.
“The most important thing is to have fun when you play and I think that’s going to be an asset for me on Sunday,” added the Englishman.
Meanwhile Chiang’s 64 brought back his self-belief which has been lacking for a long time.
After a career high where he won his maiden Asian Development Tour title on home soil last year, Chiang has only managed to make the cuts twice in 10 starts this season.
It is not a record that he is proud of, but after putting himself into a good position again, Chiang is hopeful that he can count himself as a genuine contender.
“I’ve been struggling all season but today’s result has given me lots of hope. I’m slowly beginning to rediscover my form which is great. I’m showing improvements in my game and hopefully I can finish within the top-five so that I can have the opportunity to play again next week,” said Chiang.
The King’s Cup is making its return after a year’s absence following the floods in Thailand last year and is already enjoying a welcome revival with its prize fund increasing to US$500,000 this year.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.