With the wind picking up in the afternoon session, few gave the players starting late in the day a chance to take the lead at the Resorts World Manila Masters but Mardan Mamat and Daisuke Kataoka proved them all wrong. The pair recorded identical 7-under par 65s to take the first day lead by 1 over Danny Chia and Kiradech Aphibarnrat who played in the morning session.
Mamat recorded 8 birdies against a lone bogey on the 464-yard 16th. He hit 10 of 14 fairways and missed just one green in regulation when the wind picked.
“I hit the ball solid from tee to green,” Mamat said. “I hit it close and managed to hole some putts. It’s not so easy out there, especially on the front nine. It was really windy. I am hitting the ball good so I’m happy to play today.”
Lackluster performances earlier in the year mean the former winner of the Philippine Open is in danger of losing his card but it certainly didn’t seem that way on the Manila Southwoods Masters Course today.
“I try not to think about keeping my card. I just try and play my game out there. It’s not the end of the world for me if I don’t make it into the top 60 on the Order of Merit at the end of the season. I want to enjoy my golf and keep the good form going,” Mamat said.
“I’ve played this golf course since I was an amateur and the course has been in good shape all this while. It’s always in good condition. I’m very impressed with the course. I think 65 is my best score here. It’s always nice to come back to the Philippines, especially since I won the Philippine Open 2 years ago. I have nice memories here.”
The sweet swinging Kataoka holds two top 10 finishes in the Philippine Open and also has good memories here. He hit 12 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation en route to his 65.
“My putting was good. Tee shots were always on the fairway and second shots were always on the green. Think I took low twenties (putts). Greens are difficult. Downhill, they were very fast and uphill, they are very slow. I had good touch today,” said Kataoka.
“This is the first time I’m playing Manila Southwoods. I’ve played at Wack Wack and The Country Club and have had top-10s there. I seem to score well in the Philippines. Every course here is tight. My driver isn’t very long but is straight, so it fits my game,” the 26-year old from Japan related.
|1||Mardan MAMAT (SIN)||65||-7||()|
|1||Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN)||65||-7||()|
|3||Danny CHIA (MAS)||66||-6||()|
|3||Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA)||66||-6||()|
|5||Terry PILKADARIS (AUS)||67||-5||()|
|5||Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI)||67||-5||()|
|5||Anthony KANG (USA)||67||-5||()|
|5||Sam BRAZEL (AUS)||67||-5||()|
|5||HUNG Chien-yao (TWN)||67||-5||()|
|10||WANG Jeung-hun (KOR)||68||-4||()|
|10||LU Wen-teh (TWN)||68||-4||()|
|10||Paul PETERSON (USA)||68||-4||()|
|10||Antonio LASCUNA (PHI)||68||-4||()|
|10||Himmat RAI (IND)||68||-4||()|