Sabah, Malaysia: Ben Leong completed a wire-to-wire victory on home soil after closing with a three-under-par 69 to win by three shots for his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the RM225,000 (about US$58,000) PGM Sabah Championship.
The 32-year-old Sabahan, who started the round with a two-shot edge, dropped a stroke on the par-five second hole but recovered brilliantly with four birdies to cap a winning total of 11-under-par 277 at the Sabah Golf and Country Club.
American rookie Sam Gillis returned a 69 to take second place on his own, marking his best finish in his first season in Asia.
Japan’s Shinichi Mizuno closed with three straight birdies for a 72 to grab a share of third place on 283 alongside American Greg Moss, who posted a 67. Finland’s Janne Kaske settled for fifth a further two shots back following a 67.
Leong, who could have played at the Asian Tour’s TAKE Solutions Masters in Bengaluru this week, chose to play at home as he wants to spend more time with his new-born son, Zac. It proved to be a wise decision for Leong, who had his dad, NC, on his bag.
“I didn’t feel much pressure. I was just focused on my game and wasn’t concerned about what was happening on the leaderboard. It’s definitely sweeter to have a win on home ground with my wife watching me and my father supporting me on the bag,” said Leong, whose first ADT win came at the 2017 PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship.
“I played some solid golf today and made no mistakes. I’m just glad to have found something in my game as I start preparing to play in the Shinhan Donghae Open on the Asian Tour next month. I’m feeling more confident now and I can’t wait to bring this confidence to the rest of the season.” added Leong.
Leong took home a winner’s prize purse of US$10,096 and received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, thanks to his victory. The top-six players and ties will also earn OWGR points based on a sliding scale.