Mardan Mamat will miss Queen's Cup due to illness
Singapore's No. 1 golfer Mardan Mamat, down with a lingering flu, has withdrawn from the Queen's Cup starting in Samui, Thailand, today.
Mardan, who has been unwell since last Thursday, on the eve of the European Tour's Lyoness Open in Austria, is hoping to recover and play in Japan next week.
He received an invitation for the 150 million yen ISPS Handa Global Cup at the Tokinodai Country Club in Hakui, Ishikawa Prefecture, from June 23 to 26.
After missing the cut in Austria (he played 72-78), and now withdrawing from the Queen's Cup, Mardan is left with a huge hurdle to climb in his dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio in August.
His world ranking has dropped to 405 and from first alternate he has slumped to fourth replacement on the Olympic qualification list.
His withdrawal leaves only three Singaporeans in the US$300,000 ($405,000) Thai Asian Tour event, namely Quincy Quek, Koh Dengshan and Choo Tze Huang.
Queen's Cup title-holder Prayad Marksaeng will be aiming to become the first man to win the event three times.
Home star Prayad, who turned 50 in January, is confident he can remain competitive at the highest level, but standing in his way is close buddy Thaworn Wiratchant (also seeking a Queen's Cup hat-trick), South Korean Wang Jeunghun, Australian Scott Hend and India's S.S.P Chawrasia, all ranked in the top-10 on the Order of Merit.
Prayad and Thaworn, who is 49, have dominated the Queen's Cup at the par-71 Santiburi Samui Country Club since 2012, with either player lifting the prestigious trophy over the past four seasons.
The smooth-swinging Prayad reckons Thaworn, twice an Asian Tour No. 1, will pose the biggest challange in his title defence despite the latter struggling to hit top form this season.