Mardan takes sole lead in Bangladesh Open
Singapore veteran Mardan Mamat took the outright lead in the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open with a four-under 67 in Dhaka yesterday.
Mardan, a four-time Asian Tour winner, carded six birdies at the Kurmitola Golf Club to be one ahead of Spaniard Carlos Pigem after two rounds.
The 47-year-old (left) shared the clubhouse lead with American Casey O'Toole after an opening-round 66 on Wednesday.
O'Toole, however, returned a 74 in the second round to drop to joint-ninth.
Pigem, who teed off earlier, took advantage of the calm morning conditions to fire a 68 and overtake Mardan at the top of the US$300,000 ($390,000) Asian Tour event.
But the Singaporean carded five birdies after 14 holes to regain the lead. Mardan bogeyed the 15th and 16th holes, but birdied the par-five 17th for a one-stroke advantage.
"After my bad drive on 15 (into the trees on the right), I told myself to get away with a bogey," Mardan said.
"I bogeyed 16 again after being in between clubs. After those two holes, I told myself to birdie at least one of the last two holes, which I did.
"I've been in this situation before, so I handled myself well. Hopefully things come my way."
Thailand's Panuphol Pittayarat (66) and Finland's Janne Kaske (67) are joint-third, two strokes behind Mardan. Bangladeshi Dulal Hossain, a former ball boy at Kurmitola, climbed a whopping 45 places to fifth after a sensational 63.
Two weeks after finishing third at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, Mardan is confident of maintaining his good form at the Kurmitola course, which he rates as one of his favourite golf courses.
"I'm feeling good. I'm hitting the ball good so, hopefully, this will continue," he said.
"You need a lot of patience here. The weather is out of our control and it can be frustrating with the rain suspensions.
"When you go in and out of the golf course, you might lose a bit of momentum. That happened to me today, so hopefully the weather will be kind to us the next two rounds."
133: Mardan Mamat
134: Carlos Pigem
135: Panuphol Pittayarat, Janne Kaske
136: Dulal Hossain
138: Berry Henson
139: Unho Park, Khalin Joshi