Mardan's the man to chase

Fri 21 Nov 2014

Mardan's the man to chase

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Manila, November 21: Overnight co-leader Mardan Mamat of Singapore set the clubhouse target of 11-under-par 133 after producing a stunning finish in his second round of four-under-par 68 at the ongoing US$1 million Resorts World Manila Masters presented by 918.com on Friday.
Mardan, who opened his campaign with a 65, was one over par through 12 holes at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club before brilliantly sinking five birdies over his closing six holes.
Young talents Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei, Nicholas Fung of Malaysia and Japan’s Daisuke Kataoka, who shared the first round lead, trail Mardan by five shots after rounds of 71, 69 and 73  respectively in what is the richest golf tournament in the Philippines.
Mardan, who started from the 10th hole, got off to a slow start with 10 straight pars before dropping a bogey on the second hole. However, he stormed back to put himself in position for a fourth Asian Tour victory.
“I couldn’t get my momentum right on my front nine. I told myself to stay patient and I managed to finish well. I knew I had to keep to my pace to stay in contention and I managed to do it,” said the 47-year-old veteran, who is in 74th position on the Order of Merit and fighting to save his Tour card.
The Singaporean swinger said the birdie on six from close range helped him finish strongly as he birdied home.
I hit good iron shots and my putting got better on the back nine. My longest putt was on the seventh hole from about 20 feet. The birdie on sixth actually got my momentum going. I hit a four iron to about two feet and I regained my confidence from there,” he said.
The slightly-built Fung, who finished tied fifth in the inaugural Resorts World Manila Masters last year, rode on a hot putter to keep himself in contention for a maiden Asian Tour victory. He thanked playing partner Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei who gave him a putting tip after Thursday’s opening round.
“I’ve hit it so bad. But my putting has been so good. After my first round, I went to the putting green as I had some problems but Lin gave me some tips. He said my head was looking up too quick after I stroked the ball. He felt my putting wasn’t compact and he asked me to keep my head down and to stroke the ball better,” said Fung, who needed 26 putts.
“I switched driver this week and I’m struggling a bit with it. It’s going to the left all the time. I’ll stick with it and will go to the range later to try to find something in the driver,” added Fung, who won the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit last year.
Sponsors of the Resorts World Manila Masters include Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club, Bally Technologies, Aristocrat, International Gaming Technology, Renoir Implementation Services, Marriott, Philippine Airlines, Maybank, PLDT and Avis.