Malaysian hotshot Ben Leong hopes marital bliss will drive him to a second Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory when he contends at the popular Taifong Open in two weeks.
The 31-year-old Leong, who tied the knot with sweetheart Chai Kai Nee last week, is looking to gain an extra dose of confidence by winning the US$160,000 event, which will be held at the highly-rated Taifong Golf Club from June 22 to 25.
Leong will lead a total of 30 ADT champions which includes Order of Merit leader Brett Munson of the United States and second-placed Martin Dive of Australia, to the Taifong Open, hailed as the richest event on the ADT since its inception in 2014.
Thailand’s Jakraphan Premsirigorn, Panuwat Muenlek, Steve Lewton of England and Liu Yan-wei of China, who are all ranked inside the top-10 on the Merit list, will also feature in the event, which is the ADT’s first stop in Chinese Taipei this season.
“My game is feeling good. Everything is good, I just got married last week and getting ready for Queen’s Cup next week before heading to the Taifong Open. I’ve been practising well and it has been good.
“Now that I’m married, I definitely feel more motivated me to do well and to work harder. There’s a lot more commitment now and I am ready to do my best at the Taifong Open,” said Leong.
Leong has enjoyed a solid season so far since regaining his Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School in January. He won his first ADT title on home soil in March and claimed two top-20 results on the region’s premier Tour.
“I didn’t expect such a good season. I just want to work hard to become better. There’s definitely a lot of room for improvements and I need to be more consistent in my game. I’m working on that.
“Winning on the ADT has definitely help in my game big time. It opens up a lot of playing opportunities for me on the ADT. I get to play in the overseas events now and not just those in Malaysia,” said Leong.
Despite his soaring confidence, Leong hopes to stay grounded in his title assault as he is wary of the blustery conditions at the Taifong Golf Club which had caused him to miss the halfway cut last year.
“It could feel like two different golf courses in the morning and in the afternoon because of the weather. It’s a very challenging golf course. I haven’t played well there but it’s a good challenge. I’m motivated to go there and take up the challenge again. It’s definitely one of the best golf courses in Chinese Taipei.
“This is the biggest event on the ADT and a lot of good players will be vying for honours that week. A good result that week will put me in good shape for the rest of the season on the Asian Tour,” added Leong.
Other notable players who will tee up in the fourth edition of the Taifong Open include defending champion Johannes Veerman of the United States and young Thai talent Phachara Khongwatmai.
All ADT events are afforded with Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status. The winner of each tournament receives a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.