Green excited ahead of pro debut

Gavin Kyle Green ©Arep Kulal|PGM
Gavin Kyle Green ©Arep Kulal|PGM

SUNGAI BULOH [Selangor]: Gavin Kyle Green will make his eagerly-anticipated professional debut at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Rahman Putra Championship starting on Wednesday.

The big-hitting 21-year-old, who created headlines when he stormed to an 11-shot victory last year to become the first amateur to win on the flourishing domestic circuit, will be aiming to come out with all guns blazing when he heads to the Kelab Golf Rahman Putra.

Highly-rated as one of Malaysia’s brightest young talents, Gavin enjoyed a decorated amateur career at the University of New Mexico in the United States and rose to fifth place on the men’s World Amateur Golf Rankings.

He signed off on his amateur career as the 12th ranked amateur golfer in the world and was the second highest placed Asian after Chinese Taipei’s Pan Cheng-tsung.

Gavin has also signed up with Excel Sports Management, which manages sporting celebrities such as former world number one Tiger Woods. Woods’ manager Mark Steinberg will help oversee Gavin’s professional career.

While he cannot wait to tee up for his first event in the play-for-pay ranks, Gavin is aware that the expectations and pressure will be a lot different at the RM250,000 Asian Development Tour co-sanctioned event.

“I’ve completed my college career in the United States. The plan to turn professional was always in the pipeline. Playing as an amateur before and as a professional now definitely requires a change in mindset and I will take some time to get used to it,” said Gavin.

“Winning on the ADT last year helped a lot with my confidence but I was playing as an amateur back then. I am sure playing as a professional will be different. Right now, I will just focus on these next two weeks and try to play in whichever events that I can get starts in.

“Rahman Putra is a tough course with a couple of blind holes, so I just have to be very patient. I’m currently working on parts of my game. I haven’t played competitive golf for the last three weeks so I am just trying to get back into the groove of things.”

He has also received a sponsor’s exemption into next week’s Queen’s Cup in Koh Samui, Thailand, which is a US$300,000 Asian Tour tournament.

“Right now, I just want to stay patient and positive. I am working very hard on my swing to get it together for this week,” said Gavin.

Gavin’s best result on the Asian Tour was recorded at the 2013 Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters where he finished tied sixth. He has also finished inside the top-50 at the last three Maybank Malaysian Opens – an event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.