Mardan Mamat (above) built up a three-shot lead going into the final round of the PAR 72 LLP Laguna National-SPGA Golf Series yesterday.
But the Singaporean No. 1 is not overflowing with optimism about winning the event on the concluding day at Laguna National today.
Reason: After two days at the Masters course which brought back memories of his famous OSIM Singapore Masters triumph eight years ago, today's event is being switched to the renowned but very challenging World Classic course.
Mardan, who holds a three-stroke lead over the Myanmarese veteran Zaw Moe and four over Australian Scott Barr, a seasoned Tour golfer, knows that the Classic can reduce champions into chokers because every hole is a major challenge due to the bunkers and undulating greens. Said Mardan: "At the tortuous Classic course, it is possible to play one disastrous hole that will inflate your score. So patience is the key as you approach every shot."
Mardan, who bagged seven birdies but rued a double-bogey and two bogeys yesterday, said: "I was heading for a great score.
"But I wasted shots at the par-three eighth hole, my penultimate hole. I hit my tee-shot into water and managed only a double-bogey." Still, he managed another four-under 68, the joint-lowest score yesterday, to total eight-under 136.
Moving up the ladder is promising professional Quincy Quek, who bounced back with a 68 after an opening-day 74 to be six shots off the pace, a shot behind Lam Chih Bing (71-70).
This article was published on April 2 in The New Paper.
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