Mardan takes early lead in Chiangmai

Thu 13 Nov 2014

Mardan takes early lead in Chiangmai

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Chiangmai, Thailand, November 13: Singapore’s Mardan Mamat opened with a sizzling five-under-par 67 to take the morning round lead in the on-going first round of the US$750,000 Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT on Thursday.
The three-time Asian Tour winner rolled in seven birdies against two bogeys to take a one-shot advantage over India's Rashid Khan and Jyoti Randhawa and Chinese Taipei’s Lu Wei-chih at the majestic Alpine Golf Resort Chiangmai.
Home favourite and reigning Order of Merit champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat was a further two shots back with Chinese Taipei's Lin Wen-tang and Indian talent S. Chikka, who won his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title on home soil last month.
Mardan, whose third Asian Tour victory came at the ICTSI Philippine Open in 2012, surprised even himself after capping a solid round highlighted by three consecutive birdies from the fourth hole.
“It was a strange day for me because I hit the ball so good and everything come together at the right time. Driving is important on this course because of the rough. I’m happy with my performance so I hope I can continue my form,” said the 47-year-old Singaporean.
Mardan, who is currently ranked 87th on the Order of Merit, is playing without any expectations this week after trying too hard to save his Asian Tour card for the new season. He made only four cuts in 15 starts this season and needs to finish inside the top-60 at the end of the season to secure his card for the 2015 season.
“There are a lot of thoughts in my mind. After last week, I told myself to stop thinking about saving my Asian Tour card and just play my own game and enjoy myself. I want to concentrate and do what I’m supposed to do. I don’t have any expectations this week. I just want to get better and play without expectations.
Khan credited the advice from his new mental coach, Aparna Jain, for a stress-free round.
“I’m very calm on the course now because I started working with a mental coach in India for a month. She told me that I’m too aggressive on the golf course and that I need to be calm and play easy. She said I shouldn’t put pressure on myself. It is a four-day tournament and I should take it step-by-step.
“I’ve seen a lot of players working with mental coaches and they seem to be doing well. And my problem is only in my head. I have to focus more on the course,” said the 23-year-old Indian, who claimed a breakthrough victory at the season-opening SAIL-SBI Open on home soil in February and recorded three other top-10s this season.
Kiradech, who started from the 10th hole, capped a magical front nine where he had nine one-putts which included four birdies to turn in 32. He dropped a shot on the first but recovered with two straight birdies from the third before stumbling with a double-bogey on the seventh hole.
“It was tough today and I had to rely on my putting on the front nine (started on 10). I made nine one putts and chipped very well around the greens. That was perfect golf. I struggled on the back nine and struggled. When you miss the fairway you need to find a way to get a par.
“I had no chance on hole seven when my ball landed behind a tree. I had to take unplayable, chip out and finished with a double bogey. I got a lot of confidence with my iron shot and I’m putting very well. If I can find nine or 10 fairways then I can go low,” said the 25-year-old Thai.
The Chiangmai Golf Classic is supported by PTT Public Company Ltd, Advanced Info Service Plc, Toyota Motor Thailand Co.,Ltd., Siam Commercial Bank PCL, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Provincial Government of Chiangmai, Chiangmai Provincial Administrative Organisation, The Northern Golf Resort Association, Alpine Golf Resort Chiangmai, Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, Italian-Thai Development PLC, Advanced Information Technology Public Company Ltd, Sport Authority of Thailand, CAT Telecom Public Company Ltd, TOT Public Company Ltd,  Fenix Apparel and Accessories Co. Ltd., Ricoh (Thailand) Limited, Diageo Moet Hennessy Thailand, Panasonic Siew Sales (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Jebsen & Jebsen Technology, Hytera Communications Corporation Limited, Oakley, Furama Chiangmai and Standard Tour Co.,Ltd.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
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