Leong goes two shots clear at PGM Sabah Championship

Fri 10 Aug 2018

Leong goes two shots clear at PGM Sabah Championship

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Sabah, Malaysia, August 10: Malaysia’s Ben Leong continued his consistent form by carding a two-under-par 70 to retain his lead after the third round of the PGM Sabah Championship on Friday.

Leong remains the man to beat with his eight-under-par 208 total, where he leads by two shots over American Sam Gillis who fired a 67 to take second place and Japan’s Shinichi Mizuno in third place following a 70 at the RM225,000 (approximately US$58,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.

Sweden’s Oskar Arvidsson and American Jeremy Wendelken took a share of fourth place after posting 69 and 73 respectively at the Sabah Golf and Country Club.

The 32-year-old Malaysian had a slow start, dropping a shot on hole five after missing a short putt to save par. He shrugged off his frustration and bounced back with birdies on holes nine, 16 and 18 thanks to his solid ball-striking.

“I hit a good shot off the tee on hole five but I just misjudged the wind so it ended up being short of the green, then I missed a short three-footer for par. I was pretty frustrated but I kept telling myself to hang in there.

“I gave it a 100% on every shot today. Didn’t matter if it was for birdie or par or bogey. I was narrowing down on my targets and stayed focused over each shot,” said Leong.

The one-time Asian Tour winner has had two top-10 finishes this season, and stays on track to taking home his second ADT title since his last win at the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship in 2017.

“The pressure isn’t there because my target is to build up momentum before I play in Korea (Asian Tour) in September. Heading into the final round, I’m going to stick to the same thought process and just stay in the moment,” said Leong.

Gillis, who is in contention for the first time since he started plying his trade on the ADT at the start of 2018, fired a bogey-free round highlighted by five birdies to give himself a shot at claiming his maiden ADT title.

“I just hit it well today and was giving myself a lot of opportunities. Especially on the front nine I felt like it would have been a lower score if I didn’t miss some of the short putts. But I made a couple of good saves like on hole 17 I chipped in for par. I’m excited to be in the final group tomorrow and will give it my best.” said Gillis who only missed two greens in his third round.

The PGM Sabah Championship is the 12th leg on the ADT’s 2018 schedule. All ADT events are afforded Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status. The winner of each tournament receives a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season.

Ends.

Leading third round scores:

208 - Ben LEONG (MAS) 69 69 70

210 - Sam GILLIS (USA) 72 71 67

211 - Shinichi MIZUNO (JPN) 71 70 70

215 - Oskar ARVIDSSON (SWE) 78 68 69, Jeremy WENDELKEN (USA) 72 70 73

216 - Brett MUNSON (USA) 73 73 70, Greg MOSS (USA) 72 72 72, Johnson POH (SGP) 74 68 74

217 - Cody O'TOOLE (USA) 73 73 71, Jesse SCHUTTE (USA) 74 72 71, Varanyu RATTANAPHIBOONKIJ (THA) 73 70 74

About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.