Mardan Plots for more success at ISPS Handa Singapore Classic

Singapore: Singaporean veteran golf star Mardan Mamat is not preparing for his retirement just yet but when he does, he hopes his legacy would include inspiring a new generation of players.

The 44-year-old, who is planning a title assault at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic next week, hopes to start his own golf academy as well as a way of giving back to the game which has brought him fame and fortune on the Asian Tour.

“I want to be remembered as someone who has been an inspiration to younger players and also somebody who has helped them in their game,” said Mardan.

“I also want to be remembered as someone who helped to promote golf in Singapore.  If I have the opportunity to start a golf academy, why not? I would love to do that. I hope to be a good coach and help develop more up and coming players in Singapore,” added Mardan.

His name is certainly synonymous with Singapore golf. 

For almost two decades, the battle-hardened Mardan has flown the flag for the Lion City, becoming the first Singaporean to win on the Asian Tour and subsequently a co-sanctioned event with the European Tour, and also the first from his country to qualify for the British Open.

In February, Mardan claimed his third Asian Tour victory, ending a six-year title drought at the ICTSI Philippine Open which raised his career earnings in Asia to a cool US$1.8 million. He is ranked in the top-10 of the Career Earnings list in Asia.

His achievements on the Asian Tour, the region’s elite circuit, have been well documented.

His resurgence this season, thanks to a new fitness regime, also saw him secure his third British Open appearance when he finished fourth at the International Final Qualifying (IFQ) – Asia in Thailand earlier this month.

As Mardan prepares for another title assault on home soil at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic, which is celebrating its third edition, he knows his greatest challenge will come from the quality of this year’s field.

The US$400,000 full field Asian Tour event, which will be held from April 5 to 8 at Orchid Country Club, will be headlined by two-time Order of Merit winner Jeev Milkha Singh of India, Japanese stars Yuta Ikeda and Tetsuji Hiratsuka, ranked second in Asia last season, and South Africa’s Jbe Kruger, who currently leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

“I think the standard of play on the Asian Tour is getting higher and higher every year. If you’re not at your peak, it’s hard to win a tournament. It may be tough to even maintain your position in the top-60,” said Mardan.

Winners on the Asian Tour are also getting younger with recent champions like David Lipsky of the United States among the stellar field teeing off at Orchid Country Club which will be beamed live to a global audience on the Tour’s global television platform and MediaCorp Channel 5 during the weekend rounds.

“I think it’s harder to compete on Tour when these younger players are able to hit it a lot further than me. But I’ve got more experience than them and it’s important that you are experienced and know how to handle the pressure of winning,” said Mardan.

With memories of his second Asian Tour victory at the 2006 Singapore Masters still firmly etched in his mind, the Singaporean is looking forward to repeating his winning feat at home.

“Being a Singaporean, it was a tremendous achievement for me to win on home soil. I was leading the tournament (Singapore Masters) from the first day till the end and I won in front of my family in Singapore,” said Mardan.


By Indian Sports News Network