In the end, the Old Warrior had the final say.
After lurking in the shadows of a trio of young Turks for two days, Mardan Mamat showed why he is Singapore's No. 1 professional.
Mardan, 47, bagged six birdies and rued one bogey for a splendid 66 to claim the Cocoa Tress SPGA President's Cup at Warren Golf and Country Club yesterday.
The Raffles Country Club touring pro finished two shots ahead of joint-overnight leader Goh Kun Yang, after which the latter could only say: "He's simply too good for us."
Conceding more than 20 years to Goh, third-placed Quincy Quek (69) and fourth-placed Koh Dengshan (73), Mardan, who totalled a six-under 207, was a picture of supreme confidence.
And, in fact, he would have returned a lower score if a couple of putts had not eased past the holes.
After taking a seemingly unassailable lead at the turn, he missed birdies on the 11th and 13th holes.
And the bogey on the relatively-easy par-three 14th was unexpected as his tee-shot went past the green, and the chip ran over by eight feet, and he missed the putt.
Yet Mardan preferred to look at the positives, on the birdies on the second, seventh, eighth, ninth, 15th and 17th.
He was over the moon about the birdie on the difficult par-four ninth, when he hit a good drive, landed the ball on the green with a seven-iron and made a difficult 15-foot downhill putt.
"It is nice to play a great round, especially after the inconsistent showings with near-misses in two Asian Tour events recently," said Mardan.
"On Monday, I leave for the Panasonic Open in India, a favourite hunting ground for me."
"I love the Delhi Golf Club. The Warren showing has given me a lot of confidence, and I hope to carry the good work over to next week," added Mardan, after a 45-minute run yesterday evening.
In the senior event, Dino Kwek, despite a 74, finished five shots ahead of Stuart Holmes (71) for the title by five shots.
Thailand-based India's Samarth Dwivedi (70), who hopes to make Singapore his base, claimed the amateur crown by six shots from Donovan Lee (71).
In his "thank you" speech, Singapore Professional Golfers' Association president M. Murugiah praised Cocoa Trees and Seagull Marine for giving the local pros the opportunity to play big-time golf at home. He added: "With the help of the two generous sponsors, the SPGA hopes to make this event, final one on the SPGA calendar, a bigger and better one next year."
This article was first published on October 31, 2014.
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