Leong thanks Green for second CIMB Classic start

Don’t be surprised if Ben Leong names his next son ‘Gavin’ after Malaysian No 1 Gavin Green! Leong is competing in this week’s US$7 million CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur as the second highest-ranked Malaysian in the Official World Golf Ranking, replacing Green who opted not to take up the slot and play instead in the concurrent British Masters.

“Maybe I’ll name my second son Gavin!” quipped Leong during a press conference at TPC Kuala Lumpur today. “Gavin definitely gave me a lot of luck and I think I gave back as well … I guess you guys remember I played in the 2016 CIMB qualifying and missed a shot and gave it to Gavin.

“You know, no hard feelings at all at that time. Things happen for a reason and always look at the positives, so here I am,” added the 32-year-old, who became a father for the first time in April when he and wife Kai Nee welcomed son Zac.

Last month, Green selected Leong as his partner for the ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf in late November.

“Definitely I say a big thank you to Gavin, who withdrew and gave me this chance. Definitely wish him well and can’t wait to team up with him in the World Cup,” said Leong, who was playing in the Asian Tour’s Yeangder TPC in Taiwan last week when he received the news that he got into the CIMB Classic

“I was speechless, honestly. I was blank, definitely. Me? Why? After a good round in Taiwan and the news came to me and they asked me would I like to play because Gavin withdrew, I was like no, I don’t want ‑‑ no, just kidding!  Yeah, I was at a loss for words definitely … and here I am,” he said.

Leong is making his second appearance in the CIMB Classic, finishing T64 in 2015 after making it into the elite field via the national qualifier.

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