Foo soars with eagle, 8 birdies to beat Mardan

Left: Gregory Foo (in white and above) and Mardan Mamat during the final round of the Singapore Pro Series Invitational yesterday. Foo shot his best-ever score of eight-under 64 for a 139 total to beat childhood hero Mardan by two shots and clinch th
Gregory Foo (in white) and Mardan Mamat during the final round of the Singapore Pro Series Invitational yesterday. Foo shot his best-ever score of eight-under 64 for a 139 total to beat childhood hero Mardan by two shots and clinch the victory. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Left: Gregory Foo (in white and above) and Mardan Mamat during the final round of the Singapore Pro Series Invitational yesterday. Foo shot his best-ever score of eight-under 64 for a 139 total to beat childhood hero Mardan by two shots and clinch th
Left: Gregory Foo (above) and Mardan Mamat during the final round of the Singapore Pro Series Invitational yesterday. Foo shot his best-ever score of eight-under 64 for a 139 total to beat childhood hero Mardan by two shots and clinch the victory. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Course chatter was all about superlatives.

And there was a free flow of adjectives to describe Gregory Foo's heroics at the Tanah Merah Country Club's (TMCC) Tampines course on a relatively cool and windy afternoon yesterday.

On the final day of the FTAG-sponsored Singapore Pro Series Invitational, Foo, 27, snared an eagle and eight birdies in sensational fashion to win the event by two shots from overnight leader Mardan Mamat, who shot 69.

Trailing by three shots overnight, TMCC member Foo shot his best-ever score of eight-under 64 - his previous best was 67 - on the challenging course to reign supreme on a five-under 139 total.

Foo bagged birdies on the second, fifth, eighth, 10th, 13th, 14th, 16th and 18th holes, buoyed by a fabulous eagle on the par-four 392m seventh when his 52-degree wedge landed perfectly from about 100m and rolled into the hole.

No doubt, two bogeys - on the third when he three-putted and the 15th when he overcooked his chip from 15 feet - soiled his otherwise impeccable card, but they were easily forgotten for the champion who won $3,000.

A beaming Foo said: "I played great. Yes, I am familiar with the course with my regular rounds, but truly I never expected to return such a card. I enjoyed playing with childhood hero Mardan, from whom I am still learning a few pointers.

"At 53, and while fasting, for him to shoot a three-under score is to be appreciated. He pushed me right till the end, and I must thank him for it."

Mardan, who had four birdies and a bogey, had remained tied with Foo up to the 15th hole. He said: "When someone shoots 64, you got to give it to him. Foo has a great future because his ball striking is excellent and his short game and putting good."

A taste of what the champion is all about came on the 15th hole when he executed a draw over trees from an almost impossible position to land the ball on the fringe of the green. But, sadly, he played bogey.

With Mardan too succumbing to a bogey on the same hole after a poor five-iron second shot because of a wrong read of the wind strength, the joint-leaders went into the 143m par-three 16th level-pegged.

  • FINAL SCORES

  • SELECTED

    139 Gregory Foo 75 64

    141 Mardan Mamat 72 69

    146 Mitchell Slorach 74 72

    148 Amanda Tan 77 71

    149 Jesse Yap 78 71

Then came the turning point when Foo hit an eight-iron over water to three feet from the pin for an easy birdie that gave him a one-shot cushion as Mardan could only play par. And Foo stretched his winning lead to two on the 572m par-five 18th with a beautiful chip and a lovely putt from 10 feet that saw Mardan smile and fist bump the deserving champion.

Playing with the duo, Mitchell Slorach finished third in the 24-man field after a 72 on 146 while women's professional Amanda Tan shot a 71 to claim fourth on 148.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2021, with the headline 'Foo soars with eagle, 8 birdies to beat Mardan'. Subscribe