Mamat seizes solo Open lead; Singaporean’s 70 defangs W. Wack | Inquirer Sports

Mamat seizes solo Open lead; Singaporean’s 70 defangs W. Wack

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 11:10 PM February 10, 2012

PHILIPPINE OPEN GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP Defending champion Berry Henson misses at no. 14 during the 2nd round of the Phil Open Golf Championship at Wack Wack golf in Mandaluyong. ROMY HOMILLADA

MANILA, Philippines—The beast known as Wack Wack East bared its fangs on the 96th ICTSI Philippine Open field Friday, shaking up the leaderboard like crazy and leaving steady Singaporean Mardan Mamat on top after 36 holes of play.

Mamat, a former caddy who carried the bag of 1986 Open titlist Mario Manubay in the Rolex Masters back home, was flawless with a two-under-par 70 to build a three-stroke lead going into the weekend play of Asia’s oldest national championship.


Winless on the Asian Tour in six years, the 44-year-old Mamat gunned down two birdies over the tree-lined layout as those who were tied with him for the lead overnight suffered horrid fortunes.


With a 139 total, Mamat stood three strokes clear of a new bunch of pursuers that includes Filipinos Antonio Lascuña and Ferdie Aunzo and American Ben Fox, who shot 70, 71 and 73, respectively.

“The winds were swirling,” Mamat said. “I managed to overcome it a little bit and I was in control of my swing. I told myself that it would be a bonus if I managed to stay bogey-free.”

Mamat’s under-par effort for two days equaled last year’s winning score of American Berry Henson.

But the course is expected to play even tougher in the next two days with the tee expected to be stretched all the way to the back and the pins placed in the most testing places.

Aunzo fired three birdies against a bogey on his worthiest Open form to date, while Lascuña, whose best finish in this event was third, carded nines of 34-37 that included five birdies and two bogeys.

Elmer Salvador and Canadian Rick Gibson, the 2002 champion, were in an eight-man group at 145 after a 73 and 72, respectively.


Fox, Anthony Kang, Azuma Yano, Matthew Rosenfeld and Lu Tze-shyan, who started the day sharing a piece of the lead with 69s, all couldn’t keep up with the smooth-playing Singaporean.

The Taiwanese Lu fired a 74 and lay at 143, in the company of Miguel Tabuena, who fired a 72, and four others, while Kang, the American who won here in 1999, and Yano, a multititled Japan Tour veteran, both fired 75s to be at 144 like Filipino Mars Pucay.

Rosenfeld of the United States, meanwhile, ballooned to a 78 to be at 147, even as Frankie Miñoza skied to a 79 after a 70 Thursday for 149 like Angelo Que, the 2008 winner who turned in a 76.

Pucay, one down overnight, was nursing a five-under card overall heading to hole No. 5, his 14th, only to go bogey-par-triple bogey on a three-hole stretch. He needed to hole a 12-foot putt for par on the ninth to salvage a 74.

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Henson, who held off Jay Bayron last year, fired another 73 to make the cut comfortably. Bayron was on the dot at 150 after a 75.

TAGS: ICTSI Philippine Open, Manila, Singaporean Mardan Mamat, Wack Wack East

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