Ben Leong won his first Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour title of the season when he coasted to a runaway 14-stroke victory in RM180,000 Perlis Closed Championship at Putra Golf Club in Perlis today.
The 29-year-old Sabah player, who also used the event to resume his preparations for this month’s CIMB Classic after a short break, shot a third successive four-under-par 68 on the fourth and final day to finish with a 15-under 273 total and the biggest winning margin of the campaign so far.
Coming into the fourth and final round with an 11-stroke cushion at the top of the leaderboard, Leong, who led the tournament after each round, put on another superb showing of disciplined and controlled golf en route to his second pro triumph this year. He also won the Sapurakencana National Qualifier at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club last month, which secured him a debut slot at the US PGA Tour-sanctioned US$7 million CIMB Classic.
For his week’s work in Perlis, from where he emerged as the only player to shoot all four rounds in the 60s and under-par, Leong picked up a cheque worth RM30,600. It left him to note: “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. It was long, wet and tough.”
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. I also putted well, although I do know that I will need to do even better at the CIMB Classic if I am to achieve anything.”
R. Nachimuthu, who started the day in second place, finished there after a one-under 71, which gave him a 287 total. Airil Rizman’s even-par 72 had him finish in third place, another two shots back on 289.
M. Sasidaran (72) and Kemarol Baharin (73) were joint fourth on six-over 294.
Leading Fourth Round Scores
273 Ben Leong 69-68-68-68
287 R. Nachimuthu 73-75-68-71
289 Airil Rizman 71-75-71-72
294 M. Sasidaran, 74-74-74-72, Kemarol Baharin 78-74-69-73