FIRST MALAYSIAN OR­DER OF MERIT WIN­NER

Golf Digest (Malaysia) - - In The News -

Gavin Green made his­tory by be­com­ing the first Malaysian to win the Asian Tour Or­der of Merit af­ter an in­tense 12-month bat­tle with sev­eral of the re­gion’s best golfers.

Green’s ac­com­plish­ment is a wa­ter­shed mo­ment in Malaysia’s golf­ing his­tory as no player from the coun­try has ever come close to lay­ing claim to the hon­our of be­ing Asia’s num­ber one golfer.

With his lat­est win, the 23-year-old is now the se­cond youngest golfer to win the ac­co­lade since 2004, when the Asian Tour was es­tab­lished. Korea’s Se­ungyul Noh was 19 years old when he won the merit ti­tle in 2010.

The big-hit­ting Malaysian opened up an unas­sail­able lead on the merit list fol­low­ing his tied-19th fin­ish at the R16.5 mil­lion (ap­prox. US$1.2 mil­lion) Joburg Open earn­ing US$13,277.40 which gave him a to­tal of US$585,813.46 this sea­son.

“Af­ter 12 months, here we are, on top! It is an amaz­ing feel­ing. There were so many good guys who had a chance to win it. Thank­fully, this week came around well. I’m go­ing to en­joy most it,” said Green.

By fin­ish­ing on top of the Or­der of Merit, Green has earned a five-year ex­emp­tion on the Asian Tour and spots at next year’s The Open as well as the WGC-Mex­ico Cham­pi­onship.

Green’s 2017 sea­son started on the back of a promis­ing year in 2016 where he won twice on the Asian De­vel­op­ment Tour (ADT) be­fore fin­ish­ing se­cond on the ADT Or­der of Merit to se­cure his Asian Tour card for 2017.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing tied 59th, 68th and 47th at the SMBC Sin­ga­pore Open, Leopalace21 Myanmar Open and May­bank Cham­pi­onship re­spec­tively early in the year, Green’s sea­son came alive with a se­cond-placed fin­ish at the Hero In­dian Open.

“I started off okay in the sea­son. Then the Hero In­dian Open came along and I fin­ished se­cond. I stayed in it there, re­mained pa­tient, and then the win came along,” said Green.

That per­for­mance in India sparked a bril­liant run of form where he would go on to se­cure a tied-se­cond fin­ish at the Yeangder Her­itage and tied-10th re­sult at the Thai­land Open.

He was on the verge of his break­through at the Shin­han Dong­hae Open but sev­eral costly missed putts on the fi­nal day saw him fin­ish­ing se­cond again.

The Malaysian’s maiden Asian Tour win fi­nally came at the Mer­curies Tai­wan Masters a fort­night later in Chi­nese Taipei.

His stylish two-shot vic­tory in the sea­side town of Tam­sui was not only mo­men­tous but also emo­tional as he ded­i­cated that win in mem­ory of his late grand­fa­ther, who has been his con­stant sup­porter and mo­ti­va­tor.

“It was a huge emo­tional deal af­ter my grand­fa­ther passed away, es­pe­cially af­ter the win in Mer­curies Tai­wan Masters. Com­ing into the last cou­ple of events, I re­ally wanted to close it but it was so tough be­cause I had so much on my mind.

“It was frus­trat­ing I didn’t shut the door ear­lier. This week, I went out and did my own thing and things clicked well. It has been a long jour­ney, but there’s a lot of hap­pi­ness. This ti­tle win is over­whelm­ing and it will be a huge for my ca­reer. Hope­fully from here, I just keep get­ting bet­ter,” said Green.

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