Mardan Chases New Leader Coetzee at AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open
MARDAN CHASES NEW LEADER COETZEE AT AFRASIA BANK MAURITIUS OPEN
Domaine de Bel Ombre, Mauritius, May 9: Veteran Singaporean Mardan Mamat battled to a
four-under-par 67 to lie three strokes behind new leader George Coetzee after the third round
of the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on Saturday.
The four-time Asian Tour winner traded five birdies against a bogey at the Heritage Golf Club to
lie in solo fourth position heading into the final day of the €1 million (approximately US$1.1
million) tournament tri-sanctioned by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours.
South African star Coetzee equaled the course record with a brilliant 65 to surge one shot
ahead of countryman Thomas Aiken and overnight leader Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark who
returned a 68 and 70 respectively.
Asian Tour regular Carlos Pigem of Spain dropped two late bogeys for a 69 to earn a share of
fifth place with amongst others, Australian Nathan Holman, four back of Coetzee, who leads on
Power-packed Coetzee, who is ranked 63rd in the world, crafted four birdies on the card and
holed out for a stunning eagle from the fairway on the par five seventh hole to charge into
contention for a career seventh victory at the magnificent Heritage course.
“As I walked off the course, I told my manager I don’t know how I’m shooting under par the
way I’m playing, but obviously the course must suit my eye pretty well,” smiled the 28-year-old.
“I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out in the end. I don’t know if I’m getting that
winning feeling again. With golf, you never know what’s coming tomorrow, but I’ll definitely be
giving it my best.”
Mardan, 47, snared a long birdie on the opening hole and made further gains on five and seven
to turn in 33. He rolled in two more birdies against a dropped shot on 15 on a day when the
players faced windy and rainy conditions for much of the day.
“I had a pretty good start, birdied from long range from outside the green. From there, I kept
the momentum going. It’s a tough first nine and I managed to play it in three under. I was
pleased with that,” said Mardan, whose last victory was in the Philippines in November.
“Before the start, I told myself to prepare for the bad weather. I clocked it into my head and
played it one shot at a time and kept myself dry. The birdie on 18 was a bonus. I played a good
shot from out of the (fairway) bunker to about eight feet. I’ve practiced that shot previously
and it felt comfortable. It’s not an easy shot but when you practice, you feel confident.”
Three behind Coetzee, Mardan is counting on his putter to strike it hot come Sunday. “I like the
way I’m striking the ball. Even in the wind, I’m hitting it good. I need to hole some putts. Missed
a few today and hopefully I can hole a few more,” he said.
The 24-year-old Pigem, who is playing in his third year on the Asian Tour, was disappointed to
drop shots on 16 and 17 as he ended the day four back. “We know that 16 and 17 are tough
holes. I hit a bad shot on 16 and didn’t get up and down and missed the fairway on 17. A
disappointing finish but tomorrow, we’ll try to catch the leader. You need to hit the fairways
here as the rough is quite tough and the pins will get tougher every day,” he said.
Thai teenager Jazz Janewattananond was amongst a handful who stayed bogey-free, a 68
moving him up to a share of ninth place on 207.
“I didn’t make mistakes. Kind of a day where you feel you will play well although I didn’t make
too many putts. Playing in the rain was a new experience as we normally get rain and lightning
in Asia. It came down pretty hard but I managed to get through it. I was really happy with how I
handled that,” said Jazz.
Leading third round scores
202: George COETZEE (RSA) 70-67-65
203: Thomas AIKEN (RSA) 69-66-68, Thorbjorn OLESEN (DEN) 65-68-70
205: Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 69-69-67
206: Nathan HOLMAN (AUS) 67-73-66, Andrew MCARTHUR (SCO) 68-70-68, Carlos PIGEM (ESP)
65-72-69, Dean BURMESTER (RSA) 67-68-71
207: Merrick BREMNER (RSA) 71-70-66, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 69-70-68
208: Jake ROOS (RSA) 70-71-67, Madalitso MUTHIYA (ZAM) 67-74-67, Tjaart VAN DER WALT
(RSA) 73-66-69, Scott HEND (AUS) 72-66-70
Note to Editors
The tournament will be played at the Heritage Golf Cub on Domaine de Bel Ombre, voted
one of the Top 10 golf courses in Africa, according to global news broadcaster CNN. The
course was designed by Peter Matkovich, who has also presided over the construction of 20
top-ranked golf courses on the continent, such as Arabella Golf Club in South Africa, and
Borrowdale Brooke Golf Club in Zimbabwe.
This 27-hole facility which includes an 18-hole par-72 championship layout and a nine hole
short course, is not only set in the middle of stunning natural scenery and dotted with small
lakes and streams, but also possesses exceptional infrastructure and services.
For more information on the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open:
About the Asian Tour
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development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining
a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the
International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in
Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia;
providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include FENIX Golf
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Player Quotes – Round 3 (End of Day)
Saturday, May 9
Mardan Mamat (Sin) – Third round 67 (-4), Total (-8)
Pretty good start on the first hole, birdied from long range outside the green. From there, I kept
the momentum going. It’s a tough first nine and I managed to play it in three under. I was
pleased with that.
Before the start, I told myself to prepare for the bad weather. I clocked it into my head to be
prepared and played one shot at a time and kept myself dry.
Bonus birdie on 18. Found the rough and wanted to lay up to my distance but it rolled into the
bunker. I played a good shot from out of the bunker. I’ve practiced that shot previously and it
felt comfortable for me. It’s not an easy shot but when you practice you feel confident. Hit it to
about eight feet for birdie.
I like the way I’m striking the ball. Even in the wind, I’m hitting it good. It’s not bothered me. I
need to hole some putts. Missed a few today and hopefully I can hole a few more. It’s tough to
get it out of my head but I think I know how to handle it if get into contention tomorrow. I’ve
been there before and just hope to keep my momentum. Just try to hole some putts. I’m going
to take a rest and go to the beach now.
Carlos Pigem (Esp) – Third Round 69 (-2), Total (-7)
I was playing really good, we know that 16 and 17 are tough holes. Hit a bad shot on 16 and
didn’t get up and down and missed the fairway on 17. A disappointing finish but tomorrow,
we’ll try to catch the leaders. You need to hit the fairways here as the rough is quite tough and
the pins will get tougher every day. Tomorrow, my goal will be to hit more fairways.
I don’t know if it’s the golf course, it’s an unbelievable place. If you’re in an unbelievable place,
you feel good and it’s easier to play better. Today, it felt like I was playing in the British Open as
it was windy, rainy and sunny. Only 25 degrees more here.
Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) – Third round 68 (-3), Total (-6)
It was good to be bogey-free. I played pretty solid. Didn’t make much mistakes and hit a lot of
fairways and greens. Kind of a day where you feel you will play well although I didn’t make too
many putts. I couldn’t get really low.
Playing in the rain is a new experience as we normally get rain and lightning in Asia. It came
down pretty hard but I managed to get through it. I was really happy with how I handled that. I
think I’m too far behind the leader. I’m going to think about challenging for the title.
Just try to enjoy the final day, I’m on the leaderboard and that’s going to be a good experience
for me in this tri-sanctioned tournament.
I just had a good rest at the player lounge, sitting on the beach. It was kind of hard to leave the
lounge as I want to have some practice before the rain comes in again.
Rahil Gangjee (Ind) Third round 74 (+3), Total (-2)
It wasn’t hard at all. It rained at the beginning, not hard at all. It was a regular day. It wasn’t
blowing that hard. I was okay, one under after nine holes but the back nine I misjudged my
second shot on 11 and it went so far into the headwind which is not normal and I three putted
that. On 12, hit two good shots and misjudged the speed and three putted on that one too. Had
a couple of mud balls too. The last hole was a regular three wood and it would have pitched
perfectly fine and I started at the flag and it went straight. It was a disappointing day.
Hopefully I will get some good luck tomorrow. When I came into the tournament, I was just
trying to make the cut and play as good as I can. I guess you get caught up when you are in a
situation, nothing happens. And then this happens. It was really disappointing.
Thorbjorn Olesen Round 3
70 (total 10-under)
My par saves were pretty amazing today. I’m happy that we are done now because it was not
pretty out there. I was trying to find an escape and get the best score I could. I hit a lot of poor
tee shots. The save on 14 was incredible and the save on 17 was also amazing. It was a tough
round today and it took a lot of concentration and belief in myself.
The rough is tricky and there are a few long holes so if you make the rough you can’t get it on
the green. My tee shots were just really poor, not good enough. Hopefully I can find something
overnight otherwise it is going to be a long round tomorrow.
I couldn’t be happier that I’m only one shot off the lead with the way I played today. I’m still in
contention and I have a good chance tomorrow. I have to find something from tee though to
get my ball on the fairway.
It was a struggle today, especially on the back nine. I’m quite happy I’m done now because it
took a lot of fighting just to make pars. It was nice to get that birdie on 16 but the rest of the
holes were just about making pars.
I’m very proud of myself because when you play like that it is not easy to be out there. You
want to play your best but when it is just not there it is tough. It felt much better on the range
than it had the last two days, but not on the course.
Thomas Aiken Round 3
68 (total 10-under)
It was an interesting start. The weather was diabolical and those first four holes are the
toughest on the course. It was about keeping it together and not making any mistakes. My
short game got me out of a few and I played solid after that.
This is a risk and reward course. I went the conservative route today and still made a couple, so
all in all I’m happy with the day and I’m nicely position going into tomorrow. Hopefully the
weather plays its part tomorrow and we get a fair test of golf.
George is a good friend of mine so it will nice to go out and do battle with him on the course
tomorrow. HE’s played great golf today. He was five under on the front nine which in that
weather is great golf. It should be fun tomorrow. There are a few tough holes and depending on
what the weather does, it should be a good day to watch.
George Coetzee Round 3
65 (equal course record – total 11-under)
As I walked off the course, I told my manager I don’t know how I’m shooting under par the way
I’m playing, but obviously the course must suit my eye pretty well.
Any way you get to a 65 is okay. I’m pretty happy, but I made it difficult for myself on the back
nine. But I felt like I hit enough good shots to maybe have some confidence for tomorrow.
I hit a couple of loose tee-shots on the back nine and that obviously puts pressure on the next
tee shot and then the next one after that. But coming down the stretch I started to hit it a bit
better, so I’m not going to read too much into it. Perhaps it was a bit more difficult on the back
nine because the wind picked up a little and a lot of the shots played directly into the wind.
I got to the turn in good shape, and the nice thing about this course is you don’t have to force it
coming down the stretch. So I thought, ‘You know what, ‘You can just play well and just pick up
one or two birdies and the score should be pretty good without forcing it.’ And fortunately, I
made 65, so I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out in the end.
I don’t know if I’m getting that winning feeling again. With golf, you never know what’s coming
tomorrow, but I’ll definitely be giving it my best. I’ve played enough tournaments to have
picked up experience and kind of know what to expect, but really, you never know what you’re
going to get. I feel like I’m pretty comfortable with the way to handle things and I’m happy with
the way my mind’s working at the moment.
202 - George Coetzee (RSA) 70 67 65
203 - Thomas Aiken (RSA) 69 66 68, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 65 68 70
205 - Mardan Mamat (SIN) 69 69 67
206 - Nathan Holman (AUS) 67 73 66, Andrew McArthur (SCO) 68 70 68, Carlos Pigem (ESP) 65 72 69,
Dean Burmester (RSA) 67 68 71
207 - Merrick Bremner (RSA) 71 70 66, Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 69 70 68
208 - Jake Roos (RSA) 70 71 67, Madalitso Muthiya (ZAM) 67 74 67, Tjaart van der Walt (RSA) 73 66 69,
Scott Hend (AUS) 72 66 70, John Parry (ENG) 67 70 71, Oliver Bekker (RSA) 66 71 71, Masahiro
Kawamura (JPN) 68 69 71, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 68 67 73, Pelle Edberg (SWE) 68 66 74
209 - Danie van Tonder (RSA) 73 70 66, Bernd Ritthammer (GER) 71 70 68, Thanyakon Khrongpha
(THA) 69 72 68, Chris Paisley (ENG) 72 69 68, Victor Riu (FRA) 71 70 68, Jason Palmer (ENG) 71 69
69, Justin Walters (RSA) 67 73 69, Sam Brazel (AUS) 69 70 70, Steve Lewton (ENG) 70 69 70
210 - Andrea Pavan (ITA) 73 69 68, John Hahn (USA) 70 72 68, Adam Groom (AUS) 71 71 68, Chien Yao
Hung (TPE) 70 71 69, Ben Evans (ENG) 70 70 70, Alessandro Tadini (ITA) 71 69 70, Keith Horne (RSA) 70
211 - Mithun Perera (SRI) 72 71 68, Unho Park (AUS) 72 70 69, Carlos Del Moral (ESP) 68 74 69, Jean
Hugo (RSA) 73 69 69, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 72 69 70, Borja Virto Astudillo (ESP) 68 72 71, Paul Peterson
(USA) 69 70 72, Mikael Lundberg(SWE) 68 71 72, Pablo Martin Benavides (ESP) 72 66 73, Terry Pilkadaris
(AUS) 66 71 74, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 67 70 74
212 - Chris Lloyd (ENG) 73 70 69, Ross McGowan (ENG) 70 72 70, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 71 71 70,
Jordi Garcia Pinto (ESP) 71 69 72, Richard T Lee (CAN) 72 68 72, Kalem Richardson (AUS) 73 66 73
213 - Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 72 71 70, Scott Barr (AUS) 69 73 71, Eduardo de la Riva (ESP) 71 71 71,
Javier Colomo (ESP) 72 69 72, Kevin Phelan (IRL) 68 73 72, Estanislao Goya (ARG) 70 71 72, Colin Nel
(RSA) 69 69 75, Jeunghun Wang (KOR) 65 72 76
214 - Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 72 71 71, Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 74 69 71, Divan van den Heever
(RSA) 73 70 71, Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 70 71 73, Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 72 69 73
215 - Jason Scrivener (AUS) 71 72 72, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 69 74 72, Rikard Karlberg (SWE) 68 75 72, Pedro
Oriol (ESP) 70 73 72, Daniel Chopra (SWE) 70 68 77
216 - Sattaya Supupramai (THA) 70 73 73, Daniel Woltman (USA) 67 74 75, Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 67
217 - Cyril Bouniol (FRA) 71 70 76
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