Shah Alam [SELANGOR]: A healthy season is all Malaysia’s Ben Leong is wishing for as he seeks to extend his solid 2018 season start at the US$3 million Maybank Championship, which starts on Thursday.
Leong safely made the weekend rounds in Singapore and Myanmar in recent weeks and if his T12 finish last year is any indication, the 32-year-old can expect another good run at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
The Sabahan, who holds one Asian Tour victory where he famously defeated Thongchai Jaidee at the 2008 Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters on home soil, plans to adopt a relaxed approach this year.
“The game is feeling okay. I just want to stay healthy. I withdrew a couple of times last year and I was sick at the Royal Cup in Thailand and the Indonesian Masters. I wasn’t playing too well in Singapore and Myanmar. So, I have just need to take it one shot at a time. It’s a new year and a new start so I just want to keep all the bad things that happened to me in the past,” said Leong.
He admits that he has been struggling with his golf swing but hopes to bounce back and make an impact in front of the home crowd.
“I have no complaints about how I started this new year too. I just realised a lot about myself these last couple of weeks, I wasn’t playing how I wanted to and I just went with it. I wasn’t in my comfort zone and I wasn’t playing well. I struggled with my golf swing and the ball isn’t doing what I want it to do. I don’t ever play with a draw and I have been playing with a draw the past two tournaments. I’m proud of myself for having to adjust my game with how I’m swinging it and still trying to get my way back to hitting it like how I used to for 10 years.
“But this year so far, I have made two cuts out of two tournaments, I would say it would be one of my best starts in the recent years. The goal is to build on it and the schedule looks good on the Asian Tour and hopefully I can peak at the right time,” he added.
Leong will be among 15 Malaysians in the elite field this week which includes Gavin Green, the reigning Asian Tour number one and Maybank ambassador, Nicholas Fung, Danny Chia, Arie Irawan and Sukree Othman.