Malaysia's Gavin Kyle Geen in a filepic holding the trophies for the best local finisher and amateur in last year's Malaysia Open golf championship.
KUALA LUMPUR: Gavin Kyle Green will spearhead the local amateurs’ challenge in the US$2.75mil (RM9mil) Maybank Malaysian Open, which will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KGCC) from April 17-20.
The 20-year-old Green finished as the best-placed Malaysian in last year’s Malaysian Open when he ended up joint 22nd.
He will be joined by fellow amateurs Ervin Chang, Solomon Emilio Rosidin and Mohd Wafiyuddin Abdul Manaf, who is the last player to be selected by the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA).
Wafiyuddin was selected based on his outstanding performance in the recent National Trial, where he finished first. He also finished second in the Kuala Lumpur Amateur Open and was part of the national team who won the bronze medal in the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar.
They will be joined by 18 Malaysian professional golfers – Nicholas Fung, Danny Chia, Shaaban Hussin, Iain Steel, S. Murthy, S. Siva Chandran, Rizal Amin, Airil Rizman, Sukree Othman, Iylia Jamil, Khor Kheng Hwai, Shaifubari Muda, R. Nachimuthu, Arie Fauzi, Kemarol Baharin, Ben Leong, Wilson Choo and Kenneth De Silva.
Green is ranked 24th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) following his stellar performances on the American college circuit, including winning the prestigious College All-America Golf Classic at the El Paso Country Club in Texas in November.
“I had an excellent Malaysian Open last year, finishing joint 22nd to be the best amateur and best Malaysian performer,” he said.
“What happened last year was unexpected, so I won’t get carried away. I’d like to finish higher this time and I’ll definitely give 100% to improve my game.”
MGA president Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor lauded the positive impact the Malaysian Open has had on the local game and hopes that more locals will make the halfway cut this year.
Among the star players confirmed coming for this year’s tournament are Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Matteo Manassero and Thongchai Jaidee.