Mardan eyes Olympic spot

Tue 05 Jan 2016

Mardan eyes Olympic spot

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Sentosa, January 6: Singaporean veteran Mardan Mamat is eyeing a coveted spot in the 2016 Olympics in Rio where golf will make a welcome return to the Games for the first time since 1904.
181115_RWMM_Mardan Mamat (SIN) 15The 48-year-old, who has enjoyed a successful career thanks to five Asian Tour victories and more than US$2.1 million in prize money earned, hopes to bring his game up another level by being the first Singaporean golfer to qualify for the Olympic Games from August 11 to 14.
The top 60 players on the International Golf Federation's (IGF) Olympic Ranking are guaranteed a spot at the Olympics and Mardan, ranked 330th on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), is currently on the reserves list.
Mardan, who has claimed three Asian Tour titles since he turned 44, will need to boost his rankings before the qualifying cut-off date on July 11 to feature in the prestigious stroke play tournament.
"That's my main target for the new season. I've played a lot of high-level tournaments and to be part of the Olympics would be very special.
"It would be history not just for myself but also for Singapore. I want to show the rest of the country that golf in Singapore still exists. I believe I still have what it takes to win. Maybe not with strength but with the experience I've collected,” Mardan told The Straits Times Singapore on Monday.
Mardan enjoyed yet another solid season on the Asian Tour in 2015 despite having to battle with right shoulder injury. He bagged his fifth title in Bangladesh last May and finished 17th on the final Order of Merit with a season’s haul of US$177,117.
"The injury bothered me for several months. Physically of course but also mentally as I had to manage the pain and sometimes hold back when I swing. But it's much better now and I'm almost 100 per cent recovered.
"It's a lot of travelling and golf but I'll do whatever it takes to try and get myself into the Olympics. I'm very close to achieving this new dream of representing my country at the Olympics," added Mardan.
The IOC has restricted the IGF to an Olympic field of 60 players for each of the men’s and women’s competition. The IGF will utilise the OWGR rankings to create the Olympic golf rankings as a method of determining eligibility. The top-15 world-ranked players will be eligible for the Olympics, with a limit of four players from a given country.
Beyond the top-15, players will be eligible based on the world rankings, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top-15.
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