Rested Leong seeks home win at PGM Sabah Championship

Tue 07 Aug 2018

Rested Leong seeks home win at PGM Sabah Championship

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Sabah, Malaysia, August 7: A well-rested Ben Leong hopes to claim a home victory at the PGM Sabah Championship which gets underway on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Malaysian believes his game is trending in the right direction and he is ready to contend at the RM225,000 (approximately US$58,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.

He will feature alongside a talented cast of players including Thai duo Nitithorn Thippong and Varanyu Rattanaphiboonkij, Singapore’s Johnson Poh, American Brett Munson, Australia’s Martin Dive and Sweden’s Oscar Zetterwall who are all winners on the Asian Development Tour (ADT).

Leong believes he can do better in what he described as a ‘mediocre’ season despite finishing third at the PGM Johor Championship in April followed by a top-10 finish on the Asian Tour in Japan, which was also the week his son, Zac was born.

Leong is delighted to have to rare opportunity to play at home while spending time with his family.

“I chose to play in this event and be at home so that I can be with Zac. I have been sick since Royal Cup and down with the flu. Last week was a much-needed opportunity to rest and be back home to spend time with my family,” said Leong.

The Sabah native has triumphed on home soil where he claimed his maiden Asian Tour victory at the 2008 Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in Malaysia and ended a title drought nine years later at the 2017 PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship on the ADT.

After taking a two-week break to reflect on his game, Leong hopes to kick-start his season ahead of a busy stretch of Asian Tour events.

“I am pretty excited about this week since I played well at Royal Cup (Asian Tour) but I just didn’t have a strong weekend. The goal going into that week was to make the cut and I accomplished that. So, coming back to compete at home will be good for me to keep up the momentum.

“It has been raining the past couple of days so the course will be wet. I’m expecting scores to be a lot lower because of the softer conditions,” added Leong.

Other notable names expected to mount a strong local challenge are Asian Tour winner Nicholas Fung, Shahriffuddin Ariffin who is the reigning Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Order of Merit winner and Sukree Othman who is currently fourth on the PGM Order of Merit.

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.

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.