Wednesday September 5, 2012
Mardan wants to mark 300th Asian Tour appearance with a win
SHAH ALAM: Singapore golf star Mardan Mamat is hoping to mark his 300th appearance on the Asian Tour with a victory at the RM1.2mil (US$395,000) Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters starting today.
The 44-year-old will reach a career milestone at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club where he is only second behind Thai ace Thaworn Wiratchant, who has played 40 events more in the region’s elite circuit.
With three Asian Tour titles and over 40 top-10s accumulated since breaking into the scene in 1995, Mardan said he is still as motivated as ever despite the game welcoming a generation of young stars in Asia.
“Winning is my biggest motivation. I’m quite happy that even as I turn 45 next month, I can still compete. I’m very fortunate.
“Some of my peers have given up playing competitive tournaments. But I want to get better every day.
“That’s the key to my success. As long as I can keep fit, I would love to play on till I’m 55 or 60. I still want to play on the main tour,” he said.
Mardan’s first triumph came at the 2004 Indian Open before going on to secure a popular home triumph at the Singapore Masters in 2006. Then in February this year, he ended a six-year winless run with a commanding victory at the ICTSI Philippine Open.
“Every win was special. I love to win and I love to compete. I like to work hard and keep getting into shape. From young, I have always worked hard. I love to do it,” he said.
“Every day when I wake up, I look forward to playing golf and going to practice. When you love that, you look forward to do it. I still love to compete.”
In an illustrious career spanning close to two decades and which has seen him establish himself as Singapore’s leading golfer, Mardan said the two biggest changes in the game have been the players’ fitness regime and the evolution of golf equipment.
“Nowadays after a round, players will do fitness training. Equipment-wise, players are also taking advantage of new equipment by hitting it longer. It has helped not only me but a lot of players,” he said.
At the end of last year, when he finished 57th on the Order of Merit – his lowest position in over 10 years, Mardan embarked on a fitness regime which he credited for his Philippine win.
“Throughout the years, week in and week out, if you’re not fit, you will be left behind,” he said. “I know I can still keep playing for a while yet.”