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Ben takes slim lead

9th August, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: State pro golfer, Ben Leong took a slim lead heading into the second round after carding a three-under-par 69 at the PGM Sabah Championship on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Malaysian stood firm in the wet and blustery conditions to lead by one shot over fellow Sabahan Nicholas Fung who carded a 70 at the RM225,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.

Thai duo Thepbodin Amaranan and Chonlatit Chuenboonngam carded matching 71s to tie in third place with Japan’s Shinichi Mizuno (71), while a group of 10 players share sixth place on 72 at the Sabah Golf and Country Club.

Starting on the 10th tee, Leong turned in 34 before adding two more birdies against one bogey on his homeward nine to seize the opening round lead.

“My only mistake was probably misjudging the wind on holes five and 17 and ended up missing the greens on my approach shots on both holes. But I putted well today and made a lot of good saves,” added Leong.

Leong, a winner on the Asian Tour, credited his mental strength and knowledge of the course that helped him navigate through the tricky conditions.

“It wasn’t easy out there. I just knew where to miss my shots and told myself par is actually a good score. Especially on the back nine when the wind started picking up, I just had to keep reminding myself to take par and move on,” said Leong.

Compatriot Fung was disappointed with his poor finish after bogeying holes seven and nine.

“I didn’t finish too well because I rushed my swing when the wind picked up and didn’t stick to my tempo. But I am still happy with the round since I did well by making birdies on all the par fives,” said Fung.

The PGM Sabah Championship is the 12th leg on the ADT’s 2018 schedule where 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.

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