A two-over par 73 in the second round of The Open Championship, added to his first day 72, means that Gavin Green of Malaysia was the last player to make the cut in this year’s third Major. It means he will be at Carnoustie for the weekend in his first ever Open.
Green has outplayed and outlasted such notable names as Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, world numbers one and two respectively, along with other heavily backed golfers such as Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter.
Green had the advantage of being in the final group of the day, by which time the heavy rain that affected the early starters had abated and he played in calm conditions with a light breeze. He was strongly supported for the entire round, with his grandmother, mother and brother all cheering him on, while his father acted as caddie.
Highlights of the round were birdies at the 3rd and 14th, the latter by virtue of a two-putt from 70 feet after Gavin caught a flyer from the left rough on the par five hole named Spectacles. Bogies at the 2nd, 10th, 15th and 18th put the 24-year-old in danger of not making the weekend but overall his play was steadier than on day one.
Despite being a stroke worse he managed 12 pars, as opposed to just seven on Thursday. “I was really nervous coming down the stretch. The last few holes were tough. I was just trying to keep it on the fairways and the greens. I did that all the way till 18 and had like a 15 to 20 foot for par. I was trying to find out what the cut was. Thankfully it was three-over and I made the bogey putt.
“Making the cut in my first Major, obviously I am really happy. I am happy with the way I coped with myself. I kind of know what to do and I knew I can’t push it too much. It’s been a long time since I last felt so nervous coming down the stretch but I liked the challenge,” said Green.
Once again his driving proved to be a formidable weapon and his average driving distance was 306 yards; somewhat less than the first round but he played more conservatively, hitting irons on at least two holes where on the first day he took driver.
His lag putting was excellent and he rarely had a second putt of more than three feet but he only hit 56 per cent of greens in regulation, several times finding greenside bunkers.
Because an odd number of players made the cut – 79 – and Gavin was the last player to make it to the weekend, he will be the first to tee off on day three, at 09:15 local time, and will play with a marker.
“My first expectation is to make the cut but now I will try to go as low as possible over the weekend. It’s pretty scorable if you’re on the fairways but if you’re not, it will punish you quite bad so it’s very important to keep to the same game plan and hopefully make more putts,” he added.