Ben Leong posing with the PGM I&P Group Closed Championship trophy after winning the title at the Kinrara Golf Club in Puchong last week. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: The Worldwide Holding Selangor Masters could not have come at a better time for Ben Leong.
The 28-year-old Ben, who is rejuvenated after winning the PGM Tour I&P Group Closed Championship last week, will return to play at the RM1.3mil Asian Tour event for the first time in three years.
The Selangor Masters, to be held at the Seri Selangor Golf Club from Sept 18-21, is of the tournaments that Ben treasures most – having famously toppled Asian legend Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand in a head-to-head duel to win the inaugural tournament for his first and only Asian Tour triumph six years ago.
“Last week felt good ... although it was a bit weird because I had long lost that feeling,” said Ben about his triumph last week.
“The last time I won a tournament was at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in 2008!
“It will be good to play in the tournament again ... I have great memories and I can’t wait for it to start.”
The Sabahan has been on a long road to redemption following a 15-month layoff due to a career-threatening back injury.
After being diagnosed with a bulging disc, he could not swing a club, let alone walking without pain in his back.
Fortunately, it did not require surgery. Through a rehabilitation programme which focused on strengthening his back’s core muscles, Ben was able to start hitting again last November.
“I feel good now. It was tough, though. I didn’t know when I could play golf again ... or even lead a normal life,” said Ben.
“Now, to be able to walk and play golf, and winning last week, it’s like a second chance in my golfing life.
“Just being able to play golf and walk is a bonus. Playing good or bad is another thing.”