When Mardan almost gave up golf
Manila Masters victory was turnaround for Singapore No. 1
He was contemplating giving up the game last month after going through a bad spell in golf tournaments, especially on the Asian Tour.
At 47, and having been a professional for 20 years, Mardan Mamat thought that he did not have it in him any more to continue on the challenging Tours and go through a rigorous training schedule.
But he found a new lease of life after the victory in the Resorts World Manila Masters, which also boosted his earnings by US$180,000 ($234,000) and finally settled him on 12th spot on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
"I was really having a tough time," said Mardan, who returned from holidaying in Dubai on Friday.
"If one aspect of my game worked, another would give way.
"I was feeling disappointed and dejected. Thoughts of packing it in often came to my mind.
"But when I put the pieces together and registered a comfortable win in Manila, I rediscovered myself, a week after thinking of chucking it all up.
"And by retaining the Asian Tour card for another two years, I have found the confidence to give it my best shot until I'm near-50 and am eligible for the Senior Tour."
With a three-week break until the Sabah Masters in the third week of next month, Mardan will go through a training schedule to build up his fitness and shed about seven kilograms from his current 92kg.
He is the only Singaporean to retain his Asian Tour card, a privilege for the top-60 players on the longstanding circuit.
The Yonex-sponsored Mardan finished 12th after languishing in the high-70s for a considerable period, earning a handsome US$219,972.
Two leading Singaporeans, Quincy Quek (71st, US$43,777) and Lam Chih Bing (80th, US$37,613), missed out, but will gain the chance to play in restricted events.
Mardan's success in Manila was among the highlights listed out by the Asian Tour in its year's review.
Among the other memorable events were:
- Team Asia's 10-10 draw with a powerful Team Europe in the EurAsia Cup.
- South Korean-American David Lipsky's creating history to win the Omega European Masters and eventually claiming the Asian Tour Order of Merit trophy.
- Thai Thongchai Jaidee's career-best 37th position in the world rankings.
- Indian Arjun Atwal's recent Dubai success, after being beset with injuries and losing his card on the US PGA Tour.