Mamat, Meesawat share early ‘centennial’ Open lead
STA. ROSA, Laguna—The foreign invasion in the 100th Solaire Philippine Open got going Wednesday with Singaporean Mardan Mamat and Thai Prom Meesawat at the helm.
Mamat, the 2012 Philippine Open champion at Wack Wack, and Meesawat, a two-time Asian Tour winner, shot two-under-par 70s that turned out to be the best at the difficult The Country Club layout here.
Defending champion Steve Lewton of England bogeyed two of the last six, including the 18th, to fall to joint third with Korean Taehoon Kim at 71.
The 50-year-old Mamat, a five-time winner in the Asian circuit, was elated upon seeing his name on top of the leaderboard of the $600,000 event presented by Solaire Resort and Casino and co-sanctioned by OneAsia.
“It’s very fortunate to play under par in this course,” said Mamat, winner of the 2006 Singapore Masters that also served as a European Tour event. “It’s not easy out there but got a lucky break in some of the holes and made a couple of putts.”
Mamat missed grabbing the solo lead with a closing bogey after missing the green and a bad chip, enabling Meesawat, who had a three-birdie string from No. 8, to share top spot in the chase for the $108,000 champion’s purse in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Jay Bayron went three-under after eight holes only to fumble with three straight bogeys from No. 11 en route to a 72, the best among the locals in the event backed by ICTSI, Meralco, PLDT, Smart, Bulgari, Diamond Motor, BDO, Central Azucarera de Tarlac, Amon Trading, Dynamic Sports and Custom Clubmakers.
Miguel Tabuena, winner in the rain-shortened Open at Luisita in 2015, was in a logjam at 11th after a 73.
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.