Green hopeful of Hong Kong boost

Gavin Kyle Green ©Arep Kulal|PGM Tour

HONG KONG: Rising star Gavin Green will have another chance to extend his lead atop the Asian Tour Order of Merit when he makes his debut at the UBS Hong Kong Open which starts on Thursday.

Green is on course to become the first Malaysian to lift the prestigious merit crown and with five events left on the 2017 Asian Tour Schedule, he knows what is at stake at the US$2 million event.

The nation’s top-ranked professional is playing competitively in Hong Kong for the first time in his career and expects the venerable Old Course at Fanling to spring a surprise or two.

“It’s my first time here and first time on the course. It’s a pretty tight golf course and lots of irons will be used on the tee to get the ball in play. That’s for sure. This course will really punish you if you get the ball out of play,” said the long-hitting Green.

No less than 30 Tour winners including Order of Merit champions, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thaworn Wiratchant, Liang Wen-chong, Jeev Milkha Singh, Scott Hend and David Lipsky will take on some of the top names from the European Tour such as Major winners Sergio Garcia and Justin Ross as well as newly crowned Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood.

Green, who has won US$567,336 so far this season, leads from second placed David Lipsky of the United States by slightly more than US$100,000.

“It’s a strong field with lots of experienced players, so it’s going to be a fun week. I’ve been playing against several strong players the last few weeks and the key for me now is to go out there and play my best golf.

“I’m looking to extend my Order of Merit lead but as you know, it’s not easy. Scott Hend has done well here, Lipsky has also done well here too. I’m just going to play solid golf this week and hopefully finish high,” he noted.