Gavin relishes the experience

Gavin Kyle Green ©Mike Casper|The ClubHouse

KUALA LUMPUR: It wasn’t the week that Gavin Kyle Green had hoped for but the Malaysian rising star is confident that the experience would do him a world of good as he seeks to break into the PGA Tour in the future.

Green signed off his campaign at the US$7 million CIMB Classic with an even-par 72 on Sunday for a four-day aggregate of one-over 289 at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

The national number two was the best-placed local in a share for 69th position alongside Asian Tour while seasoned campaigner Danny Chia had to endure a rare wooden spoon finish on 17-over despite returning with a closing even-par 72.

Green, a three-time winner on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), was playing in his second successive PGA Tour event and described the experience as “eye-opening”.

“It was a good week overall I think. I have some things to work on. It kind of proves that I have something to work on and I have to move it – gain the experience of what I played the last fortnight. It definitely opened my mind up a little bit and there’s things that I have to do. I’m going to work on it the next couple weeks,” said Green.

He got his final round off to a good start, trading two birdies with a bogey to make the turn on 35 but two dropped shot against a gain on the homeward nine meant he couldn’t finish the week in red numbers at his home course.

“My ball striking wasn’t great all week. I drove it okay but my short game was a bit out this week. I think a little bit of it is just coming back to the hot weather and all that. I’m not trying to say that it’s an excuse but it definitely affected me a little bit as the jet-lag kicked in. Today I putted and hit it a lot better but just left myself a couple of tough shots,” added the former University of New Mexico standout.

The 22-year-old will return to the United States for the second-stage of Tour qualifying next week and is optimistic that the baptism of fire will serve him well.

“I think it’s going to play a huge part because like I said, experience has been huge and I’m going to have to change my practice a little bit, just because what I’ve seen and what’s out there and what I know I’m capable of doing. I’m just going to have to switch it a little bit. I think it’s going to help me a little bit,” he noted.

Danny Chia ©Mike Casper|The ClubHouse
Danny Chia ©Mike Casper|The ClubHouse

A humbled Chia was glad to put the week behind him and is eyeing a good break after a six-week stretch on the Asian Tour.

“It’s been a really bad week and it’s probably the first time in my career that I finished where I did and it is not a good feeling,” said the dejected 43-year-old.

“My body tightened up this week and I couldn’t control it. I struggled all week with my ball-striking and that definitely needs some work. I started putting really solid at Macao last week and it continued into this week but kept leaving myself with 40-50 footers for birdies, which  was a difficult task,” added Chia, who will now lock his sights on securing his Japan Golf Tour  card.