Kuala Lumpur: Leading national amateur Gavin Green will take a more cautious approach in the US$2.75 million Maybank Malaysian Open which starts on Thursday.
The 20-year-old will be inspired to repeat last year’s heroics when he finished as the highest ranked local in 22nd place at the West Course of Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
“The course is good. This is what my dad and I expected. I think we are a lot smarter because we played here last year. We mapped out all the danger zones on the course. I plan to play a lot smarter and to think more on the course. I do not want to be too aggressive because sometimes that brings your game down,” said Green.
“I’ve been practicing a lot and my game is in shape. I just need to map out the course properly and play my own game,” added Green, who won the College All-America Golf Classic title at the El Paso Country Club in Texas in November
“It is always nice to play for your country and in your hometown. It just brings your confidence level higher because you have the home crowd behind you.”
The Malaysian amateur is excited to be among the elite field which include former world number one Lee Westwood of England, Matteo Manassero of Italy, the 2011 Maybank Malaysian Open winner and Major winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.
Green received a timely boost in confidence after playing at the Augusta National Golf Club before the start of the Masters Tournament that was won by Bubba Watson.
Coincidently, the young Malaysian also played against Masters runner-up Jordan Spieth and Oliver Goss, who was the only amateur to make halfway cut in the year’s first Major, during his freshman year in university.
“I played against them in my freshman year in university before Jordan turned professional. I’ve seen their game. It is a lot to do with experience and consistency. There is not much difference in the golf side,” said Green. “If they are there, then I can be there as well, but I need to work harder. It is very possible.”
Asked about his experience playing at Augusta, Green gushed: “It was really nice. The golf course was so real that it looks fake! We saw all the top players in the world and obviously you want to be there some day.”
Besides Green, 21 other Malaysians – Nicholas Fung, Danny Chia, Shaaban Hussin, Iain Steel, S. Murthy, S. Siva Chandran, Rizal Amin, Airil Rizman, Sukree Othman, Iylia Jamil, Khor Kheng Hwai, Shaifubari Muda, R. Nachimuthu, Arie Fauzi, Kemarol Baharin, Ben Leong, Wilson Choo, Kenneth De Silva, Ervin Chang, Solomon Emilio Rosidin and Mohamad Wafiyuddin Abdul Manaf – will fly the Malaysian flag in the tournament.