Confident Mardan takes three-stroke lead into final round
Armed with a three-shot lead, Singapore's No. 1 golfer is confident of a fifth Tour win
He has been there before.
And his game plan for today's final round is to play his usual game on a course that suits him fine.
So, he will let his challengers do the chasing as he attempts to keep his ball always in play.
Singapore's favourite golfing son Mardan Mamat takes a three-shot advantage into the final round of US$300,000 ($390,000) Bashundhara Bangladesh Open, brimming with confidence.
He birdied the last hole with a 10-foot putt to lead by three from India's young upstart Khalin Joshi, and four over South Korea's precocious Lee Soo Min, who both shot six-under 65s yesterday.
Mardan managed a 68 - six birdies and three bogeys - on the challenging tree-lined Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka for a 12-under 201 total.
The 47-year-old won three (Philippine Masters, Resorts World Manila Masters and the Osim Singapore Masters) out of his four Asian Tour titles after leading for three rounds. With the US$54,000 first prize carrot within his grasp, Mardan, though confident, said that he cannot afford any slip-up.
"Three and four shots, they're nice cushions to have, but I cannot allow my two flightmates, Khalin and Lee, any opening," said Mardan.
"Being on the last flight with them, I'll know what I have to do. And I cannot let their game affect me.
"I must play my own game, go for another sub-par round on a course that I enjoy playing."
He is also aware not to rule out the Finn Janne Kaske, who is lying fourth, five shots behind the Singaporean.
After opening with two birdies, Mardan had to dig deep into his reserves to hole the last-hole birdie after running low on energy due to the humidity.
"I lost my concentration on the back nine because of the heat. I ate, and drank a lot of water to regain my focus," the Singaporean said immediately after his round..
"I will take a rest as it has been a long day and I was exhausted in the last three holes."
With just 25 putts in total yesterday, he then reiterated: "I feel I'm getting closer to another win, but I will not take whatever lead I have for granted.
"I have an advantage, but I must focus and make sure I do what I'm supposed to do.
"When you come to a tournament and see your photo on the billboards, it makes you feel well known. That gave me a bit of confidence."
Khalin, 22, chipped in for eagle on the 14th hole before missing two short putts for birdie and par on holes 15 and 16 respectively.
Two closing birdies hauled him into contention for a first Asian Tour title.
The 21-year-old Lee, who earned an Asian Tour card at Qualifying School earlier this year, bagged an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys.
Another Singaporean, Lam Chih Bing, who had just made the cut on Thursday, put himself in a good spot for a top-15 finish after a 67.
201: Mardan Mamat 66-67-68. 204: Khalin Joshi 71-68-65. 205: Lee Soo Min 70-70-65. 206: Janne Kaske 68-67-71. 207: Panuphol Pittayarat 69-66-72, Carlos Pigem 67-67-73. 208: Om Prakash Chouhan 69-73-66, Lee Hyung Joon 72-69-67, Dulal Hossain 73-63-72. 209: Lee Sung 72-70-67, Amardip Malik 67-74-68, Casey O'Toole 66-74-69, Berry Henson 71-67-71. 210: Chinnarat Phadungsil 74-67-69. 211: Josh Younger 73-70-68, Rahil Gamgjee 74-70-67. 212: Masaru Takhashi 70-74-68, Thaworn Wiratchant 70-72-70, Sujjan Singh 68-74-70, Chapchai Nirat 73-68-71, Lam Chih Bing 73-72-67, Rizal Amin 72-69-71, Chiragh Kumar 72-69-71, Rattanon Wannasrichan 67-73-72.
"I have an advantage, but I must focus and make sure I do what I’m supposed to do."
— Mardan Mamat