Mardan credits wife, Naz, for win in Bangladesh
Singapore No. 1 continues red-hot form with wire-to-wire win in Dhaka
Even before the final round of the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open, Mardan Mamat was assured by his wife that he was No. 1.
"You are the champion, you are the winner and you are the man", were the words conveyed by his wife Naz on Friday night.
That message inspired the Singapore veteran, who posted a two-under 69 to cruise to a two-shot victory at the US$300,000 ($404,000) Asian Tour event in Dhaka yesterday.
The 47-year-old completed a wire-to-wire win with a 14-under 270 total to bag his fifth Asian Tour title at the Kurmitola Golf Club.
Singapore's No. 1 golfer kept calm and composed in the heat, even as his overnight three-shot lead was reduced to one after he bogeyed the fourth hole, with Lee Soo Min of South Korea leading the chase.
He steadied the ship with a pair of birdies on holes five and six, before one more on the 12th.
"I knew that my lead was cut to one because we were all playing on the same flight," Mardan told The New Paper last night.
"It was always close and a lot of birdie opportunities didn't fall. But I kept calm and patient and, thankfully, saw it out.
"It's always a special feeling to win a tournament, especially this one, which is the first national tournament (in Bangladesh)."
It was Mardan's first Asian Tour title since last November when he won the Resorts World Manila Masters.
Khalin Joshi of India shot a 68 to tie for second place alongside Lee, who posted a 67.
Singapore's Lam Chih Bing ended the tournament with a 69 to finish joint-15th.
Last year was a low period for Mardan, who made just five cuts in 15 tournaments, leaving him on the brink of losing his Asian Tour card, and contemplating his future.
But Mardan, who won US$54,000 yesterday, is delighted to have turned the corner this year.
He has enjoyed an excellent month in May, after finishing third in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on May 10, and now sits eighth on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit with season earnings of US$138,269.
"It's all coming back on the right track," Mardan said.
"Hopefully, this will continue. For now, I'm taking a week's rest to spend time with the family.
"Next up, I'll try to get an invite for the Thai Open next month. If not, then I'll play in the King's Cup tournament (also in Thailand)."
270: Mardan Mamat 66-67-68-69
272: Lee Soo Min 70-70-65-67, Khalin Joshi 71-68-65-68
273: Carlos Pigem 67-67-73-66
277: Chinnarat Phadungsil 74-67-69-67
Selected:281: Lam Chih Bing 73-72-67-69 289: Koh Dengshan 71-74-70-74.