Singapore’s top three professionals had a decent day in the opening round of the inaugural Us$750,000 ($900,000) resorts World Manila Masters on Thursday.
On the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club, Lam Chih Bing, Quincy Quek and Mardan Mamat played subpar rounds to raise hopes of a good finish. Lam (right) was the best of the trio with a five-under 67 that put him in joint-eighth spot, three shots off the sensational lead taken by Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond.
Said Lam, who bagged an eagle and four birdies against a bogey: “I’m pretty happy with what I shot today. If you hit the ball well and make some putts, you can really get some good scores.
“The last few weeks haven’t been that good and it has been pretty frustrating. Hopefully it’ll turn around this week.”
Then showing concern for the Filipinos whose homes have been ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan that also left about 2,500 people dead, he added: “We’re really blessed to be living in Singapore, without fear of facing natural disasters like last week’s typhoon here in the Philippines.
“It’s really sad to know what has happened and how fragile life can be. But I know this country will get back to its feet quickly.
“Through my years of playing on the Asian Tour, I’ve made many close Filipino friends and I’ve known them to be very strong and resilient people.”
Quek shot a 69 – thanks a four birdies against one bogey – to be on joint-36th. Singapore’s No. 1 Mardan finished birdie-birdie to post a 71 for joint-61st in a leaderboard where a one-shot difference could mean a 10-placing drop.
Janewattananond, only 17, returned with a flawless round highlighted by eight birdies for a one-shot advantage over Canada’s Richard T. Lee.
Charles Hong gave the home crowd something to cheer about after he signed for a 66 to take third place alongside Thailand’s Thitiphun Chuayprakong, Australia’s Matthew Stieger and Korean-American David Lipsky at the newest event to make its debut on the Asian Tour this season.
Following the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan, all players wore Red Cross pins as a pledge of their commitment towards relief efforts and also observed a minute’s silence to show their respect for the victims.
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