Malaysia’s Ben Leong hopes that marital bliss will drive him to more success on tour, having tied the knot with long-time girlfriend Chai Kai Nee last week.
However, the 31-year-old will not have much time for a honeymoon as he will be playing in two overseas tournaments in a row beginning with the Asian Tour’s Queen’s Cup in Thailand next week. Leong then heads to Taiwan the following week where he will be among the favourites in the Taifong Open on the Asian Development Tour (ADT).
“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.
“My game is feeling good, everything is good. I’ve been practising well and it has been good,” 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 Asian Tour.
“I didn’t expect such a good season. 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, who has one Asian Tour title to his name in the 2008 Selangor Masters.
The US$160,000 Taifong Open will see a total of 30 ADT champions including Order of Merit leader Brett Munson of the United States and second-placed Martin Dive of Australia. Thailand’s Jakraphan Premsirigorn, Panuwat Muenlek, Steve Lewton of England and Liu Yan-wei of China, all ranked inside the top-10 on the Merit list, will also feature in the event.
Leong is wary of the blustery conditions at 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.
For more information on the ADT, visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.