Gavin eases into new role as Asia’s No.1

Gavin Green ©Paul Lakatos|Lagardére Sports

SINGAPORE: Gavin Green will be unfazed by the big names and the pressure of being the Asian Tour Order of Merit champion at the SMBC Singapore Open that starts on Thursday.

The big-hitter enjoyed a very successful 2017 on the Asian Tour, evident from his number one position on the merit list. The 24-year-old enjoyed three second-place finishes and a win at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters.

During the year, he also had the chance to play alongside elite players such as major champion Justin Thomas and 13-time European Tour winner Paul Casey. Last week, he was up against the best golfers from Europe at the biennial EurAsia Cup.

The experiences on Tour have helped shaped Green into a better golfer and he’ll be looking to use the things that he has learned in 2017 to excel this year, starting at the SMBC Singapore Open.

“It’s fun. I enjoy it (being an Order of Merit winner). But I still had to perform and play well. There are obviously more expectations and pressure. I have to practice harder and step up my mind game as well,” said the 24-year-old Malaysian.

“I am going to play in two Tours, as I also have my European Tour card this year. Adjusting to European weather and atmosphere is going to be a challenge for me. Goal-wise, being in the world top-100 is one of them and winning a European Tour event is also one of them.

“The rest are more detailed which I’m still trying to figure out. I’m going to take it event by event and enjoy the game as much as I can as it’s not that often that I can get to play on two Tours. However, Asia will always be home no matter what,” he added.

Green has a score to settle with the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club as he was second at the halfway mark last year before dropping down the leaderboard after a poor third round 82.

“It was my first time in that position (placed second at the halfway mark). You know, it was all new,” he said of a round that he would rather forget.

“I am a little stronger than last year and control my game a little bit better, control my ball a little better. The breeze makes it tougher for everyone. Those who control their ball flight and manage the course well will win the event.”