Singaporean veteran Mardan Mamat was inspired by his wife’s special message as he posted a two-under-par 69 to cruise to a two-shot victory at the US$300,000 Bashundhara Bangladesh Open on Saturday.
The 47-year-old completed a wire-to-wire win with a 14-under-par 270 total to win his fifth Asian Tour title and lift the unique trophy which was designed in the form of Bangladesh’s national animal, the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Khalin Joshi of India shot a 68 to tie for second place alongside Korea’s Soomin Lee, who posted a 67 at the Kurmitola Golf Club for their best result on the Asian Tour so far.
The day belonged to Mardan, who kept calm and composed in the heat. His overnight three-shot lead was reduced to one stroke after he bogeyed the fourth hole but he steadied ship with a pair of birdies from hole five before adding another birdie on the 12th hole.
“I’m the first Bashundhara Bangladesh Open winner so this is a special win. I talked to my wife (Naz) last night and she sent me a message saying ‘You are the champion, you are the winner and you are the man’. That really inspired me today,” said an emotional Mardan, who won US$54,000.
“If I say that I didn’t have any pressure today then I’m not human. Two of my competitors Lee and Khalin are young and they hit it long. They kept pushing me a lot on the front nine. I managed to steady myself and play my own game,” he added.
After poor results earlier in the year, a jubilant Mardan was delighted to turn the corner and even celebrated the win by dancing to the beat of the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open theme song during the prize giving ceremony.
“During the welcome dinner, I heard the song for this tournament. I like the beat of the music and that kept me pumped up at the prize ceremony. That’s why I was jumping and dancing,” he laughed.