PETALING JAYA: There’s just no stopping Ben Leong.
Despite not having the best vision due to contact lens discomfort, the 31-year-old still eased to a comfortable seven-shot win at the weather-shortened PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship. He closed with a solid two-under 70 to finish on 20-under 196 for his eighth PGM Tour title.
The win marks not only Ben’s maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title but also his scintillating run of six wins in eight starts on the PGM Tour since October last year.
Ben’s victory yesterday was beyond doubt after he pulled eight shots clear after a 64 in the first round and then a sizzling 62 in the second round.
And he kept it simple in the third and final round at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club by mixing three birdies against a bogey to end the RM200,000 event.
England’s Steve Lewton carded a 69 to finish second on 13-under 203.
Japan’s Masaru Takahashi, China’s Liu Yan-wei, Thai Donlaphatchai Niyomchon and Scotland’s James Byrne were joint third on 204.
It was an eventful day for Ben as he had to deal with the loss of his right contact lens before tee-off.
For the first nine holes, Ben had to make do with lens of a different degree which he borrowed from his friend. He only managed to get the correct lens later on.
“I couldn’t find my right contact lens this morning and I was prepared to head out with my glasses. I was lucky enough to get one from my friend although it was of a different degree,” said Ben, who pocketed RM35,000 for his efforts.
Ben was thrilled to bits to have finally won an ADT title after coming close with a runner-up finish at the PGM UMW Impian Championship in 2014. Ben also became the 10th Malaysian winner on the ADT since its inception in 2010.
“This win means a lot to me. Winning on the ADT was one of my goals for this year and I’m glad to achieve it in my first ADT outing this season,” said Ben.
Recently-turned professional Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz continued to impress, shooting a 64 to finish 10th with three others, including fellow Malaysian Nicholas Fung, on 206. Daeng made his pro bow at the PGM Palm Closed Championship two weeks ago in tied 13th.
Malaysian No. 1 Gavin Kyle Green, the champion last year, fired a 67 to end his campaign in a share of 18th spot on 208.
196: Ben Leong (Mas) 64-62-70;
203: Steve Lewton (Eng) 66-68-69;
204: Masaru Takahashi (Jpn) 70-69-65, Liu Yan-wei (Chn) 71-66- 67, Donlaphatchai Niyomchon (Tha) 69-68-67;
205: Mathiam Keyser (Rsa) 69-67-69, Pannakorn Uthaipas (Tha) 68-68-69, Jay Bayron (Phi) 65-70-70;
206: Nicholas Fung (Mas) 70-70-66, Blake Synder (US) 68-68- 70, John Michael O’Toole (US) 69-67-70, Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz (Mas) 72-70-64;
207: Jakraphan Premsirigorn (Tha) 72-68-67, Suradit Yongcharoenchai (Tha) 69-70-68, Nicolas Paez (US) 69-67-71, Quincy Quek (Sin) 68-67-72;
208: Gavin Kyle Green (Mas) 73-68-67, Nick Sherwood (US) 71- 68-69, R. Nachimuthu (Mas) 71-67-70