THE rejuvenated Ben Leong, who was sidelined from competitive golf for almost a year and half, is hoping to ride the momentum as he eyes for better things to come, by first doing well at next month’s Maybank Malaysian Open.
The 28-year-old has been dealing with a career-threatening back injury since June 2012 and only returned as recent as December last year.
His comeback was certainly felt when he finished joint third at the Maybank Tour Players’ Championship on Dec 14.
And today, the Sabahan proved he is still one of the top local pros after finishing second in the Maybank Malaysian Open – National Qualifiers at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC).
He posted a three-over 147 over two days to book his place in the prestigious US$2.75 million European and Asian Tour co-sanctioned tournament this morning.
He will be joined by winner Kemarol Baharin, Wilson Choo and Kenneth De Silva.
“It feels good to be back playing well and to qualify for Maybank Malaysian Open again just made things even better,” said Ben, who was the first Malaysian to qualify and play in all four rounds of the US Amateur Open championship.
“I’ve had quite a decent run since returning, so obviously I hope it will go on.”
With his berth sealed, Ben will now be looking forward to improve on his dismal record at the tournament.
He has already made eight appearances but never once had he managed to make the cut.
“The Malaysian Open couldn’t be better a place for me to turn things around. I have yet to make the cut even once and I’ll try to achieve it.”
The talented Ben claimed his sole Asian Tour victory at Seri Selangor in 2008 when he stunned Thai star Thongchai Jaidee in a head-to-head battle.
Unfortunately, he failed to reproduce his winning form in subsequent seasons before things got from bad to worse for him as he was hampered by a persistent back problem.
He was once ranked 284th in the world and due to inactivity in the past two years, he found himself ending last year at lowly 1,515th.
For feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org