Following a fifth Asian Tour victory at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open and a third place outing in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open recently, Mardan intends to keep the good vibes going at the US$300,000 tournament, which is returning to the challenging Santiburi Samui Country Club for its seventh consecutive edition.
The 47-year-old Singaporean is tipped strongly to contend for the title, currently held by Thai veteran star Thaworn Wiratchant, as his straight-shooting game is well suited for the Samui course. Another victory will also push him towards his goal of finishing in the top-five of the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.
“I want to be inside the top-five on the Order of Merit. I have never achieved that before so that will be my main goal for this year,” said Mardan, who is current eighth with US$138,269. His best Merit finish was eighth in 2010.
With his confidence soaring, old-hand Mardan believes he can continue to play top level golf against the region’s elite despite his advancing years.
“I have improved a lot on my mental game. Winning in Bangladesh and finishing third in Mauritius have given me a lot of confidence and motivation to play well,” he said.
“This is a game which I love a lot and I want to keep playing for as long as I can. I will keep myself fit so that I can continue to play competitively on the Asian Tour,” added Mardan.
The Singaporean veteran will join Rashid Khan and S.S.P. Chawrasia of India, Australian Marcus Both, Canadian Richard T. Lee and Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, all tournament winners on the Asian Tour, in spearheading the international cast made up by players from over 23 countries.
They will come up against a strong local challenge which includes Thaworn, who has won two Queen’s Cup titles in 2014 and 2012, Prayad Marksaeng, winner here in 2013, as well as Chapchai Nirat, Thanyakon Khrongpha and Jazz Janewattananond.
Thanks to his victory in Bangladesh, Mardan jumped up to 226th position on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) which puts him in position to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year.
The Queen’s Cup is sponsored by Bangkok Airways Company Limited, Sports Authority of Thailand, Santiburi Samui Country Club, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Public Company Limited, Siam Commercial Bank PCL, PTT PCL, Bangkok Bank PCL, Sally International, Phatra Financial Group, Tourism Authority of Thailand, The Boeing Company Bangkok Insurance, TAT Leasing Ltd. Malee, Sabre, INK, Hertz, Wine Dee Dee, Panasonic, Arecap Hourse and Haadthip PCL.
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