SINGAPORE'S young lions roared to the fore with a scintillating opening-day display in the 33rd Southeast Asian amateur team championship for the Putra Cup at Fanling. Defying capricious winds which swirled mischievously around the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club's New Course, the youthful Singaporean quartet served early notice of their intent in the nine-nation event sponsored by Carlsberg. Mardan Mamat led the way with a one-under-par 69 and received sterling support from Dino Kwek Beng Kwee and teenager Lam Chih-bing who both returned 70s. With only the three best scores counting each day, Mohammed Said's 78 was discarded, giving Singapore a team total of 209. That is four shots clear of the Philippines and Myanmar in joint second place with Malaysia in fourth place on 215. Defending champions Indonesia are fifth on 221 followed by Thailand (223), Hong Kong (225), Papua New Guinea (228) and Brunei (249). Despite an adventurous 71 from Michael Grant, there was little cheer for the Hong Kong team who went into the tournament with high hopes of mounting a concerted challenge. However, with David Tonroe shooting 76, Ian Hindhaugh returning a 78 and Tang Shu-wah firing an 81, it will take a big effort from the hosts if they are to haul themselves back into the picture. Like Hong Kong, Singapore have won the Putra Cup on only one previous occasion. That was in 1967, before Mamat, Lam or Said were born. But non-playing captain Douglas Ooi, himself a former Putra player, is not surprised to see his young charges flying high at the top of the leaderboard. Said Ooi: ''This is one of the strongest teams Singapore has fielded for several years and at the beginning of the week I thought we had a genuine chance of winning. ''I think we have a well balanced team. Dino and Mardan are both experienced at international level, while Lam and Said both have great potential. We're delighted to have made such a promising start and there's no reason why we can't continue to do well.'' Based on yesterday's showing, Singaporean optimism is well founded. Both Kwek and Mamat were towers of strength, while the exuberance of 16-year-old Lam - the youngest player in the field - and Said shone through the gloomy skies. No-one epitomised the bubbling Singapore spirit better than 26-year-old Mamat, who burst out of the starting blocks with birdies at the first two holes. Dropped shots at the sixth and ninth took him back to even-par and the wheels might well have fallen off at the par-five 14th where he sliced his second shot out of bounds. ''I was aware of the scores of the other players and I knew that I had to keep control of myself,'' said Mamat, who escaped with a bogey-six and strode purposefully on to the 15th tee. A perfect drive there left him a seven-iron to the green which he struck to 12 feet and made the putt. A further birdie followed at the 16th after another pinpoint seven-iron approach. Returning to the scene of his victory in the 1991 Hong Kong Open amateur championship, Kwek was at his wizardly best on and around the greens making numerous miraculous up-and-downs. He hit only 10 greens in regulation, but required just 29 putts. For Lam it was also a memorable day. He made birdies at three of the first six holes and was unfortunate not to go to four-under at the 14th where his birdie putt hung tantalisingly on the edge of the cup. Not even three bogeys on the home stretch could take the polish off his display. Conspicuous by his absence from the top of the individual standings was Indonesia's Sukamdi, twice a winner of the individual Putra award. ''I just had no feeling,'' complained Sukamdi after a 75.