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Daily Archives: December 16, 2007

Golf: Malaysia’s Leong and Tan among Asian tour card winners

Malaysia's Ben Leong retained his full playing rights on the Asian Tour after a closing 70 for a 18-under-par total of 270 and a three-shot win over compatriot Steven Tan yesterday.

Leong, who also took top honours at the final stage qualifiers in Thailand last year, finished with a blemish-free round including two birdies at the Sabah Golf and Country Club, his home course.

Tan, who trailed Leong by two shots at the start of the final round, failed to keep up the pressure for the lead when he made three costly bogeys on his opening nine, eventually finishing on 71 for a 273 total and second place.

Australia's Rick Kulacz fired a closing 68 to finish third on 274 while China's Shang Lei's 275 total earned him fourth place together with full playing rights for next year.

Leong reeled in two birdies in his first four holes to set himself up for victory.

"It's been a great week. I was steady from tee to green and my putting was really good today. I hung in there," he said.

"I hope this win here will motivate me to better my performance on the Asian Tour in 2008 and I also hope to enjoy a breakthrough win on the tour next season."

Tan, who shot the week's best score of 62 in the third round, got off to a slow start with three bogeys but was eager to finish under par and rallied back with three birdies after the turn to earn full playing rights for the first time.

"I got off to a nervous start but bounced back well on the turn with birdies on the first, third and fourth holes. I was determined to finish under par and did just that," said Tan, who closed his round with another birdie on his final hole, the 9th.

Australia's Kulacz's playing career is off to a flying start having only turned pro in October.

"This is a very good result for me. I'm very happy as I came here wanting to get into the top-40 but I've managed to do better than that this week," said the jubilant 21-year-old.

"I'm excited for next year as I've only played in four professional events so it's going to be something new for me," added Kulacz, who won the 2006 New South Wales Open as an amateur.

Played over two courses at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club and the Sabah Golf and Country Club from 12-15 December, the Asian Tour Qualifying School Finals attracted more than 200 players.

Forty-six of them earned full playing rights on next year's Asian Tour.

 

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