Leong sets sight on ADT breakthrough

Ben Leong ©Arep Kulal|PGM Tour

Shah Alam [SELANGOR]: Ben Leong extended his blemish-free run to 36 holes after signing for a stunning second round 10-under-par 62 at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Northport Championship on Friday.

The 30-year-old Leong, who opened with a 64 to lead by one on Wednesday, continued his dominance by firing two eagles and six birdies, romping to a commanding eight-shot lead on 18-under-par 126 total at the RM200,000 tournament, which has been reduced to 54 holes due to inclement weather

James Byrne of Scotland and Steve Lewton of England shared second place on 134 following rounds of 69 and 68 at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club’s Gardens course.

Leong, who is chasing for a maiden Asian Development Tour win, took advantage of his pinpoint approach shots and a brilliant short game to cap a solid round, which saw him broke his own personal 18-hole record.

It could have been a new course record at the Gardens course and the lowest 36-hole score on the ADT if not for the preferred lies ruling in place.

“I was just able to hit the right shots at the right time. I chipped in for eagle on 16 from about 16 yards and made another one on sixth where I sank a 25-footer after finding the green in two.

“I have had two eagles in a round before but this is the first time I shot a 62 so it was a special round,” said Leong.

Leong, a one-time winner on the Asian Tour in 2008, had sensationally claimed five straight victories on his domestic Tour at the end of last season before regaining his Asian Tour card at the 2017 Qualifying School in January, where he came in fourth. In one of his five straight wins on the local circuit, Leong had claimed a massive 20-shot victory.

“I had a day off yesterday due to the weather delay so I managed to get some rest. I am happy with my position right now but I will just continue to play my game. Nothing special really, I just want to have fun out there,” added Leong.

Leong did not manage to tee off for his second round on Thursday as play was suspended for more than six hours in the afternoon due to lightning threats. He was amongst the 82 players who returned on Friday morning to complete their rounds.

With more than eight hours of play lost in two days at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, the tournament committee has decided to reduce the tournament to 54 holes.

“We have decided to reduce the tournament to 54 holes as the second round was affected by length weather delays on Thursday and Friday. The decision was made in the best interest of the tournament, the players and is supported by the sponsor and the PGM Tour,” said ADT tournament director Adnan Othman. ~ Asian Development Tour