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Thursday January 10, 2013

Mardan and Lascuna set the pace on opening day

<b>Way to go:</b> Mardan Mamat shot a 67 for a share of the first round lead on the opening day of the Sabah Masters at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club in Kota
Kinabalu Wednesday. Way to go: Mardan Mamat shot a 67 for a share of the first round lead on the opening day of the Sabah Masters at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club in Kota Kinabalu Wednesday.

PETALING JAYA: Marquee players Mardan Mamat of Singapore and Filipino Antonio Lascuna stamped their class by shooting four-under 67s on the opening day of the Sabah Masters in Kota Kinabalu.

The duo topped the leaderboard yesterday ahead of Malaysian Danny Chia, Singa­pore’s Koh Dengshan and Thai­land’s Somkiat Srisanga and Ratta­non Wannas­richan, who carded 69s.

The US$75,000 tournament is being played at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club and is the final event of the Asean PGA Tour’s 2012-2013 season.

Malaysian Nicholas Fung, the current leader of the Order of Merit and looking to wrap up the number one spot this week, returned a 72.

Thailand’s Annop Tangkamol­prasert, the only man who can catch Nicholas – provided he wins – carded a 70.

“That’s a great way to start the year. I had a very good 2012 and I’m glad it’s continuing into the new year. These are early days though,” said Mamat, who made six birdies and two bogeys.

Fellow veteran Lascuna is still looking for his first win on the Asean PGA Tour despite dozens of runner-up finishes.

“You need a good short game around this course to score well and that part of my game worked well today. I think this course suits my game ... so this could finally be my week,” said 42-year-old Lascuna.

Danny made a solid start, showing the kind of form that won him last week’s PGM I&P Kinrara Classic on the local circuit.

“Nice to get off to a good start and stay with the leaders. I’m quite happy with the way I’m playing ... would love to claim back to back titles,” said Danny, who eagled the par four eighth.

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