Golf: Mardan Mamat stretches lead to four at Asean Tour Championship in Sabah

Mardan Mamat has been rock solid in his first tournament of the year following a three-week break, as he signed for an even-par 71 on Friday for a seven-under total of 206. -- PHOTO: AFP/WORLD SPORT GROUP/KHALID REDZA
Mardan Mamat has been rock solid in his first tournament of the year following a three-week break, as he signed for an even-par 71 on Friday for a seven-under total of 206. -- PHOTO: AFP/WORLD SPORT GROUP/KHALID REDZA

Singapore's top golfer Mardan Mamat has opened up a four-shot lead heading into Saturday's final round of the US$100,000 (S$132,000) Asean PGA Tour Championship.

The 46-year-old has been rock solid in his first tournament of the year following a three-week break, as he signed for an even-par 71 on Friday for a seven-under total of 206. His nearest challenger at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club in Sabah was Malaysian Arie Irawan, who stumbled with three bogeys for a 73 and is second on 210.

Mardan, who finished runner-up in this event in 2013, has found a new lease of life after struggling for much of 2014. The 20-year veteran was in danger of missing out on his Asian Tour card for the first time in a decade but turned things around with a runaway victory in the Resorts World Manila Masters last November.

It was his fourth victory on the Asian Tour and gave him a two-year exemption on the circuit. He ended the 2014 campaign in 12th position on the Order of Merit with earnings of US$219,972.