Green unrewarded despite superb ball-striking

David Cannon|Getty
Gavin Green of Malaysia

By Joy Chakravarty at the Turkish Airlines Open

Belek [TURKEY]: It was another day at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course but the Gavin Green story on the second day of the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open took a similar course as day one.

The top-ranked Malaysian star produced yet another solid display of hitting but could not get his rewards on the greens. Although his three-under par 69 was four shots better than his opening 73, it failed to bring any cheer to the world No242.

Green was tied 52nd on two-under par 142 at the halfway stage. Austria’s Matthias Schwab (67), a rising star in European golf, showed his immense talent once again as he took sole possession of lead at 12-under par 132, with a four-way tie for the second place at 11-under par 133.

“It’s just frustrating. I am hitting the ball so well…I think I had 15 greens in regulation and I could not make any putts for a second straight day,” said the 25-year-old Green, currently ranked 68th in the Race to Dubai.

“I cannot blame my putting. I know I am rolling it well. I might work a bit on my line, but there is only two things I can do tomorrow – either make the putts, or try and hit it even closer.

“The good thing is that I am very happy with the way I am controlling my golf ball. There are a lot of birdies to be made out there and hopefully, the putts will drop tomorrow. I need to go low over the weekend.”

Schwab, riding high on his tied fourth finish at the Italian Open and the WGC-HSBC Champions last week, has climbed to 18th in the Race to Dubai. The 24-year-old is now in a great position to try and get his maiden win on the European Tour.

Schwab, playing in the final group of the day, started with an eagle and then birdied four holes in his back nine, including the last to edge ahead by one shot. One group before him, Sweden’s Alex Noren, a two-time Rolex Series event champion, had dropped a shot on the final hole after a wild second shot and three putts from a long distance.

“I wasn’t really hitting them great at all, especially early on but kept it together. The start was good with an eagle on the first, but it was not very nice to watch after that,” said Schwab, who has nine top-10s in the season so far.

“The long game wasn’t on but I managed to make a few good pars. On the back nine I found my swing a little bit and made a few good birdies coming home. I just gave myself a few more looks on the back nine than the front nine.”

Green is paired with Japan’s Masahira Kawamura and Adri Arnaus of Spain for the third round on Saturday and tees off at 1045 local time (1345 Malaysia time).