Battling Gavin hopes to go low in Shanghai

Gavin Kyle Green ©Ross Kinnaird|Getty

KUALA LUMPUR: Gavin Kyle Green battled through winds to sign for a 73 that placed him in equal 21st place after 54 holes of the WGC-HSBC Champions on Saturday.

The current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader got off to a horrid start, dropping three shots inside his starting five holes but steadied the ship with birdies on eight and 14 at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China.

Green, who is aiming to end his three-week PGA Tour swing on a high, is tied with Daisuke Kataoka of Japan, Englishman Paul Casey and local hero Wu Ashun on four-under 212.

“I started off a little shaky today. I didn’t hit it very good to start. I was getting frustrated, and towards the end of the first nine, I was able to flip it around a little bit. Got two birdies with the two birdies,” said Green, who is making his first appearance in a World Golf Championship event.

“Missed a lot of putts coming down the stretch but I think the important thing is I gave myself looks and stopped the bleeding, basically. I’m enjoying it, so it’s good. The fans are great,” he added.

He remains hopeful of reproducing his first round form with a birdie-run on Sunday that will yield a big payday in the US$9.75 million event.

“I’m hoping for an under-par round tomorrow. That’s my goal. Doesn’t matter how many. I’ll just try and get as many as I can,” said the 23-year-old.

Dustin Johnson ©Arep Kulal|Getty

World number one Dustin Johnson of the United States remains the player to beat after he extended his advantage to six shots over close friend Brooks Koepka  with a third round four-under-par 68

Starting the day with a one-shot lead, Johnson would cap off another commanding performance with his three-day total of 17-under-par 199