Mardan Makes His Move

Thu 07 Apr 2011

Mardan Makes His Move

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New Delhi, India, April 7: Singapore’s Mardan Mamat continued his fine run at the inaugural Panasonic Open (India) by posting a seven-under-par 65 to take the second round lead on Thursday.
The 43-year-old Singaporean, who is seeking to end a five-year title drought on the Asian Tour, signed for a two-day total of 12-under-par 132 to open up a four-shot lead over Ben Fox of the United States and overnight leader Anirban Lahiri of India who returned with matching 136s at the Delhi Golf Club.
India’s Himmat Rai bettered his opening 70 with a 67 to take fourth place with compatriot Manav Jaini one back in fifth on 138 at the newest US$300,000 event on the Asian Tour which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).
Starting the day in tied-second, Mardan overcame his two-shot deficit with a flawless opening front-nine. The Singaporean fired four birdies and an eagle-three on the par-five eighth to move atop the leaderboard at 11-under at the turn.
Mardan’s only blemish of the round would come at the par-four 10th where he rued a bad iron shot.
However, that blunder was quickly put out of mind as he posted two more birdies on the 14th and 15th holes.
“I had a really good start and that kept up my confidence. Overall I’m very pleased with the way I’ve putted over the last two days,” said Mardan.
“As long as you don’t make too many silly mistakes on this golf course, it will be okay. I’m just going to relax and sharpen my putting. I hope to maintain my momentum for the next two days,” added the two-time Asian Tour winner.
Meanwhile, Fox also produced another commanding performance by mixing eight birdies against two bogeys to keep up his charge for a career breakthrough on the Asian Tour.
“I played really solid golf. It could have been a lot better yesterday but the putts just didn’t fall. But today, it was the exact opposite. I hit it well and managed to make those putts. That’s the difference,” said Fox.
Fox narrowly kept his Tour card by finishing on the bubble in 61st place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last season and is determined not to be caught out in such a compromising position on the rankings again.
“I took a lot of positives from last year and I was lucky to keep my card. I’m definitely looking forward to taking advantage of it this year,” said Fox.
Fox plans to take the pressure off himself by taking in the sights in New Delhi with his girlfriend but knows he has to remain focus to fulfil his goal of winning his first Asian Tour title.
“My girlfriend’s in town so I’m going to hang out with her and I’m just going to take it easy and get ready for tomorrow,” said Fox.
“This is the kind of golf course where you have to be patient and stick to your game plan. That’s all I intend to do and keep doing what I’ve always done here and we’ll see what comes of it,” added the young American.
Lahiri who enjoyed a flawless 65 on the opening day bemoaned the afternoon strong winds for blowing away his lead.
“The winds were howling from all over the place and the same holes which people were making birdies in the morning were not so easy in the afternoon,” said Lahiri.
The 23-year-old mixed three birdies against two bogeys to return with a 71 but is confident that that he will be back to contend for the lead when the third round resumes.
“I’m happy that I managed to scrap out an under-par score on a tough day like this. For me, it’s just about going out there again and play my golf, same thing which I did yesterday,” said Lahiri.
“I have to focus on the greens and if I can hole more putts tomorrow, I can put some pressure on Mardan,” added the Indian.
Rai was happy with a bogey-free 67 as it ensured that he remained on course for his first win on the Asian Tour.
Rai was once tipped by Asian Tour honorary member K.J Choi to become one of Asia’s leading players, after the 23-year-old pushed Choi to the wire before settling for a share of third place at the Iskandar Johor Open in 2009.
He is now displaying that same form which led to those accolades from one of Asia’s greats at the Delhi Golf Club.
“I grabbed most of the scoring opportunities today. Most of the pins were tucked away and not very accessible but a few were relatively easier and I took advantage of those,” said Rai.
“It’s going to be interesting and I can’t wait for the weekend rounds to begin,” added Rai who saved the best for last by draining his last birdie on the 16th hole from about 25 feet.
Panasonic, the worldwide leader of electronic product manufacturers, has committed to the title sponsorship in India as an extension of the brand’s involvement with professional golf in Asia as it also hosts the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open in Japan, a tournament jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
The top three players of the Panasonic Open (India) will be invited to play in Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open, scheduled from September 22 to 25 at Biwako Country Club in Shiga Prefecture.
A total of 77 players made the halfway cut which was set at three-over-par 147.
Leading second round scores
132 - Mardan Mamat (SIN) 67-65
136 - Ben Fox (USA) 70-66, Anirban Lahiri (IND) 65-71
137 - Himmat Rai (IND) 70-67
138 - Manav Jaini (IND) 71-67
139 - Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 73-66, Thanyakorn Krongpha (THA) 72-67
140 - Mohd Islam (IND) 72-68, Chawalit Plaphol (THA) 74-66, Tjaart Van Der Walt (RSA) 72-68
141 - Raju Ali (IND) 72-69, Somkiat Srisanga (THA) 69-72, Mukesh Kumar (IND) 70-71
142 - Vikrant Chopra (IND) 69-73, Pappan   (IND) 72-70, Zaw Moe (MYN) 73-69, Scott Barr (AUS) 74-68, Rashid Khan (IND) 74-68
Selected score
145 - S.S.P. Chowrasia (IND) 73-72
Ends
About the Panasonic Open 2011 (INDIA)
The Panasonic Open (India) is the latest tournament in India to join the established Asian Tour in 2011. Held at the venerable Delhi Golf Club from April 6 (Wednesday) to 9 (Saturday), 2011, the tournament will be beamed to over 40 countries and 440 million homes throughout four days of highlights. The Panasonic Open, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), is supported by Panasonic India as the title sponsor, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla (Official Hotel), Carlsberg Exceptionals (Official Sponsor), Teacher’s Origin (Official Sponsor), Inetol (Official Headwear), Pepsico (Official Beverage), Callaway (Official Ball) and 4moles.com (Digital Media Sponsor).
About Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Panasonic Open
The Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Panasonic Open is co-sanctioned event of Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour and hosted by Panasonic Corporation, Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation and Japan Golf Association. A 150,000,000 yen (approx. 1,700,000USD) event will be held at prestigious Biwako Country Club at Shiga Prefecture, Japan from September 22nd (Thu) to 25th (Sun),Japanese Star Ryo Ishikawa, sponsored by Panasonic, is the host player of the event. ,
About Panasonic Corporation
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.42 trillion yen (US$79.4 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2010. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE: PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net.
About Panasonic India
Panasonic makes available in India its wide range of consumer electronics and home appliances like LCD & Plasma TVs, DVD players, home theatre systems, cameras, camcorders, car audio systems, air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, microwave ovens, automatic cookers, vacuum cleaners and the like. The Company has a workforce of about 11,000 in India and has registered sales of Rs 2,200 crore in FY 2009, and estimated to do a turnover of Rs 3,200 crore in FY 2010. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand in India, please visit http://panasonic.co.in.
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 J.Lindeberg (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Royal Selangor Pewter (Official Trophy Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Pan Pacific (Official Hotel), BlackBerry (Official Mobile) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.