Ben Leong will enjoy a wave of local supporters when he goes into tomorrow’s final round of the Hilux Cup as joint leader with Galven Green at the Sabah Golf & Country Club. Both are six-under after two rounds of golf under extreme conditions.
Joining them in the final group is another local hero Nicholas Fung who carded a two-under 70 to lie in joint third placing with Wilson Choo and Aretha Pan who a second 71 on a course that she also grew up on.
“Just finishing the round is an accomplishment,” said Leong who carded a comfortable two-under 70 that included three birdies and a bogey. “It was really hot and the greens were firm and fast. It’s a tough course and unfortunately we’re playing fliers off the fairways which makes it even harder trying to keep the ball on the greens.”
“My plan for tomorrow will be the same, just put the ball on the fairways and try to get as close to the pins as possible,” added Leong who had to change his caddy after 12 holes due to exhaustion. The Sabah GCC club captain Ng Loong Fah stood in temporarily for the remaining six holes.
Green, whose 68 was the low round of the day, said it is always nice being on top of the leaderboard going into the last day. “Tomorrow is a new day and I’ll just go out and play the best I can. I hit a lot of fairways and that helped a lot.”
The highlight of the round was when Chan Soo Keong created history by scoring the first hole-in-one of the Toyota Tour. The 57-year-old veteran who used a five-iron onto an elevated green on the 12th hole, said he saw the ball bounce once when it hit the putting surface but didn’t quite know where it ended up.
“I couldn’t see my ball when we got to the green and thought that it had rolled off. So as I walked past the pin I decided to look inside just in case, and to my surprise I saw my ball inside the cup. I was happy because it was my first hole-in-one.”
Overnight leader Ervin Chang had a disastrous round when he finished with a six-over 78. It was a big turnaround after yesterday’s five-under 67.
A disappointed Chang remarked that nothing worked for him today. “That’s golf but I hope to play better tomorrow.”
Leading amateur Nasrullah Zulkifli who was Best Amateur in the Mirai Cup in Kuching, created a buzz on his ninth hole when he drove the par-four green and one-putted for eagle. He is three-over and is lying joint 11th with Khor Kheng Hwai and Brandon Lau.
Ahead of them are Ryan Fernandez and Paul San. Both are at two-over 146.
The Hilux Cup is the third leg of the Toyota Tour. The next event will be the Vios Cup at Templer Park Country Club from June 20-22.
Round Two Scores
Top Ten & Ties
138 (-6) – Galven Green 70-68, Ben Leong 68-70
142 (-2) – Wilson Choo 72-70, Aretha Pan 71-71, Nicholas Fung 72-70
145 (+1) – Ervin Chang 67-78, Casper Loh 74-71, Shahriffuddin Ariffin 71-74
146 (+2) – Paul San 74-72, Ryan Fernandez 71-75