Ben turns bad start into commendable finish
Published on: Friday, October 12, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: Local golfer Ben Leong recovered from a slow start with a bogey and double bogey in the first three holes to finish in a commendable tied 20 among 78 players in the CIMB Classic 2018 opening round.The 32-year-old Sabahan scored four-under-par 68 to share position with former world number one, Ernie Els of South Africa, Marc Leishman of Australia and Americans Stewart Cink, Kevin Na and Ryan Palmer at the TPC's West Course Thursday.

The world number 360 Leong, started from the 10th tee with a bogey in the 10th hole and a double bogey in the 12th hole, but managed to recover by carding four birdies in his back nine.

The 2008 Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters (Asian Tour) winner had a chance to finish in better position when he carded another four birdies in the front nine, but a bogey in the seventh hole forced him to be tied for the 20th position.

"Very satisfying to recover…You know there is a saying, 'it is not how you started it, but how you finished it.' I am proud of myself the way I am in there," he told reporters here, Thursday.

"My game plan was to keep it simple, put it on fairway and if I get a good lie, I will attack the green. There are no cuts this week, so I do not really have to be very aggressive, I just need to hang in there, play my part and wait for the birdie to come," the national number two golfer said.

Leong who turned pro in 2006, said his game plan for tomorrow would depend on the weather and the placement of pins. This is Leong's second CIMB Classic after he was tied for the 64th place among 78 players in his debut at the 2015 edition.

Meanwhile, another Malaysian on the field, Kim Leun Kwang, 23, was tied in 75th place with Kelly Kraft and Andrew Putnam of United States, after carding an identical four-over-par 76.

The 2018 CIMB National Champion also had a bad start when carding four bogeys in hole 12, 13, 14 and nine, as well as a double bogey in hole 16, but managed to slightly recover with two birdies in holes three and five. – Bernama


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