Golf: Nifty at 50, Mardan proves he won't fade away

Mardan Mamat is steeling himself for a shot at playing in the seniors tour. He won the SPGA President Cup Invitational yesterday.
Mardan Mamat is steeling himself for a shot at playing in the seniors tour. He won the SPGA President Cup Invitational yesterday.

Mardan Mamat showed why he is still Singapore's top professional golfer, when he won the SPGA President Cup Invitational yesterday at the Warren Golf and Country Club.

Mardan, who turned 50 on Tuesday, picked up three birdies against a bogey and carded a two-under 69 for a seven-under 206 total.

Choo Tze Huang was second on 209 following a 71, while defending champion Quincy Quek (71) was third on 210.

There were also two women in the main field - Amanda Tan (13th, 220 total) and Koh Sock Hwee (16th, 225 total).

Marc Ong, who was part of the men's team that clinched the gold at the SEA Games in August, was the top amateur among the three in the 34-strong field. He carded a 69 yesterday for a 209 total.

"Today I am 50 years and two days old, and I can still win a tournament; young boys, you know what that means," Mardan said half-jokingly in his victory speech over lunch at the main terrace.

SOME BRUSHING UP NEEDED

I think they (the younger pros) have the game. It's only that they have to sharpen up a bit and have the hunger, and they will be up there.

MARDAN MAMAT, still Singapore's highest-ranked golfer at world No. 921, on his junior counterparts.

"I think they (the younger pros) have the game," the veteran, who last won this tournament in 2014, told The Straits Times yesterday.

"It's only that they have to sharpen up a bit and have the hunger, and they will be up there."

The victory yesterday will give the golfer, a five-time winner on the Asian Tour, a shot in the arm for the Resorts World Manila Masters next week, as well as his plan to join more senior tour tournaments next year.

"I have been planning this (transition) for the last three years. I have been telling myself to stay competitive so that I can still play on the seniors tour," he said.

"This win will definitely boost my confidence; I need that to push myself a bit more."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2017, with the headline 'Nifty at 50, Mardan proves he won't fade away'. Print Edition | Subscribe