KUALA LUMPUR: Rising Malaysian star Gavin Kyle Green overcame the blustery conditions to sign for an opening four-under-par 68 at the Fiji International on Thursday.
Starting from 10, Green fired one eagle and three birdies against a bogey to turn in 32 before reeling nine straight pars on his way home to lie two shots off the lead at the scenic Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.
“It’s a good course but if the wind blows, it’s a beast. I hit a lot of one-irons off the tee today. I can get it to about 250 or 260 yards so I am able to knock it down especially in the wind.”
“I was very tempted to hit it as hard as I can on the 17 but I hit a soft one which went quite far down, given the downwind. I then hit a pitching wedge to about 15 feet and made that eagle putt. It was nice,” added Green, who is tied fourth with three others.
The 23-year-old Green, placed fourth on the current Order of Merit, credited his past experiences of playing in such windy conditions for a commendable round.
“I am not new to these windy conditions. I get a lot of these back in Mexico when I was still in college. I am glad my coach made us play in this kind of conditions then! Austin (Conelly) and I were feeding off each other too. When I made the eagle, he made the same.
“If the wind keeps blowing like this, I am not going to change my game plan at all. I will stick to the same game plan and focus on making as many pars and birdies as possible,” he said.
A brilliant burst of scoring around the turn saw New Zealand’s David Pearce card an impressive six-under 66 to top the leaderboard at the A$1.5 million tournament, tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia.