Mamat was the first Singaporean to play in The Open Championship when he qualified in 1997.
Mardan Mamat was the first Singaporean to play in The Open Championship when he qualified in 1997.

Asian Tour Golf Logo 407x174SINGAPOREAN hero Mardan Mamat will aim to relive his winning memories at the Laguna National Golf and Country Club when he takes aim at The Championship title next week.

The 46-year-old veteran, who claimed his biggest victory when he won the 2006 Singapore Masters at the Masters Course at Laguna National, will be among the elite cast in the US$1.5 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Mardan will be joined by Team Asia’s Eurasia Cup heroes Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thongchai Jaidee, Prayad Marksaeng, Siddikur Rahman, Anirban Lahiri and Nicholas Fung in the event which will be staged from May 1 to 4.

Mardan will be hoping to compensate himself with a solid result at The Championship – formerly the Ballantine’s Championship – which was originally scheduled to be played in Korea.

He had to waive his flight tickets to Korea, which he bought earlier in the year, before tournament organisers moved the tournament to Singapore when staging issues made it clear that the event was not going to be played in Korea.

“I already made flight and visa arrangements. I lost a lot of money there but it is good that a big event will return to Singapore. I’m excited to play on the Masters Course again and I’m really looking forward to the event,” said Mardan, a three-time Asian Tour winner.

“I won on the course in 2006 and I’m quite happy we will have another tournament there again,” added the Singaporean, who led from start-to-finish when he won the Singapore Masters nine years ago.

Mardan will be joined by countrymen Lam Chih Bing, Koh Deng Shan, Quincy Quek, Poh Eng Wah and Lam Zhiqun in the star-studded event.

Singapore’s Koh, who looks up to Mardan as a mentor due to his success on the Asian Tour, is delighted to represent his country in an international golf tournament on home soil.

“I think it’s great to have a tournament in Singapore because it has been a while since we last had an Asian Tour event at home. The Masters course at Laguna is really nice and challenging. It’s a great venue to host the event. My game is looking good right now so hopefully I can do well next week,” said the 26-year-old Koh.

Zhiqun is also relishing the opportunity to shine in front of the home crowd again. “It is great to have the tournament staged in Singapore as it will definitely boost the golf scene here.

“I’m really looking forward to play on home ground again. It has been quite some time since I last played in front of the home crowds,” said Zhiqun, who enjoyed a decorated amateur golf career before turning professional in 2011.

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