Mamat eyes title repeat as $1-M RW golf starts
CARMONA, Cavite—Mardan Mamat, here to defend his Resorts World Manila Masters crown starting Thursday, says that he doesn’t want to apply pressure on himself to repeat.
But the well-built Singaporean veteran more or less knows what he’s shooting for to win this $1 million Asian Tour event.
“Last year (the course) was tougher,” Mamat said during the event’s official launch yesterday. “For me, what comes, comes. I don’t want to put so much pressure on myself, but this year, it (winning score) can definitely be more than 20-under.”
The figure that Mamat said could certainly put a lot of pressure on the pretenders to his throne, especially over a Southwoods Masters layout that is wind-swept at this time of the year.
Mamat, who tallied a 72-hole 268 last year, said that current conditions of the Masters course, like the short roughs and perfect greens, opens up opportunities for scoring for the talented field.
Also the Philippine Open champion in 2012, Mamat announced his readiness to go very low and retain this championship, shooting a six-under-par 66 during the Pro-Am on Tuesday.
“It’s just nice to be back here,” he said. “I have so many nice memories of the Philippines. It’s just like my second home and I always get a lot of support playing here, that’s why there is little pressure playing as the defending champion.”
Angelo Que, Antonio Lascuña and Miguel Tabuena banner the local charge as a Filipino tries to win this event for the first time.
Que also sees the winner setting scoring records of sorts and is just hopeful that he has done enough in his preparation and gets some luck to go his way during the week.
“It’s anybody’s game,” the jolly Que told the Inquirer after his practice round. “It really depends on who gets lucky. It also depends on the winds, though I am pretty sure that it (scoring) will be very low.”
Paul Peterson of the United States, the distant runner-up last year, echoes Mamat’s assessment.
“The course is playing a lot softer this year,” said the reedy Peterson. “The greens are in spectacular shape and we have a great field. It’s anybody’s ball game.”
The legendary Frankie Minoza is also in the fold like fellow former Open champion Elmer Salvador and Artemio Murakami even as Thaworn Wiratchant, the many-time Asian Tour No. 1, is also in the field leading a crack Thai contingent.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.