Leong breaks winning margin record

Ben Leong with the Perlis Championship trophy © Arep Kulal
Ben Leong with the Perlis Championship trophy © Arep Kulal

Kangar [PERLIS]: Ben Leong claimed his second Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour title after coasting to a runaway 14-stroke victory in the RM180,000 Perlis Championship on Saturday.

Resuming his preparation for a much-awaited debut at the CIMB Classic later this month, the 29-year-old Sabahan fired a third successive four-under 68 at the Putra Golf Club to finish with a 15-under 273 total.

Nachimuthu Ramasamy returned with a one-under 71 to hold on to second place while reigning Order of Merit champion Airil Rizman Zahari (72) was another two shots back on 289. Sasidaran Muthiah (72) and Kemarol Baharin (73) were joint fourth on six-over 294.

Coming into the fourth and final round with an 11-stroke cushion, Leong, who was the only player to shoot all four rounds in the 60s, was pleasantly surprised to rewriting the flourising domestic circuit’s winning margin, which previously stood at 11-under.

“I am very happy to have won here in Perlis. This was a difficult course to play and I am pleased that I managed to get round it the best, despite it playing long and wet. Quite surprised to know that I’ve set a new mark in terms of winning margin but the more important thing was to get the job done,” said Leong, who picked up a cheque for RM30,600.

Turning to his game, he added: “I played well as I could have in these tough conditions. I hit the ball solidly but not spectacularly this week but my putting was on song.”

Leading final results (Par-72)>
273 – Ben Leong 69-68-68-68
287 – Nachimuthu Ramasamy 73-75-68-71
289 – Airil Rizman Zahari 71-75-71-72
294 – Sasidaran Muthiah 74-74-74-72, Kemarol Baharin 78-74-69-73
295 – Wilson Choo 72-73-75-75
296 – Muhd Wafiyuddin Abd Manaf 74-77-72-73, Solomon Emilio Rosidin 72-74-76-74, Sukree Othman 74-74-72-76, Lim Eng Seng 76-73-71-76, Lam Yu Shuen 75-76-77-68