Malaysian Gavin Kyle Green played a practice round at the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club last week and he hopes to use it as inspiration to do well at the Malaysian Open starting on Thursday at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Gavin Kyle Green achieved what every golfer dreams of - playing at the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club.
The second year business administration student at the University of New Mexico was there playing a practice round about a week before the US Masters tournament, won by Bubba Watson on Sunday.
It’s just the confidence boost that Gavin needs as he seeks to repeat last year’s heroics at the Maybank Malaysian Open starting on Thursday at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC).
During his freshman year in university, Gavin, who tied for 22nd spot to emerge as the best Malaysian finisher last year, also played against Masters runner-up Jordan Spieth and Oliver Goss, who was the only amateur to make the halfway cut at this year’s first Major.
“I played against them in my freshman year in university before Jordan turned professional. I’ve seen their game. It is a lot to do with experience and consistency.
“If they are at that level, then I can be there as well, but I need to work harder. It is very possible,” said Gavin, who won the College All-America Golf Classic title at the El Paso Country Club in Texas in November.
Gavin was clearly impressed with the playing conditions at Augusta.
“The golf course was so real that it looked fake. We saw all the top players in the world and obviously you want to be there some day,” he explained.
The Malaysian amateur is excited about the Malaysian Open and being among the elite field which include former world number one Lee Westwood of England, Matteo Manassero of Italy, and Major winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, the winner in 2012.
The 21-year-old Gavin is looking forward to playing at the pristine KLGCC again.
“We mapped out all the danger zones on the course. I plan to play a lot smarter and think more on the course.
“I do not want to be too aggressive because sometimes that brings your game down.
“I’ve been practising a lot and my game is in shape. I just need to map out the course properly and play my own game.
“It is always nice to play for your country and in your hometown. It just brings your confidence level higher because you have the home crowd behind you,” he said.
Joining Gavin are 21 other Malaysians – 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, Kenneth De Silva, Ervin Chang, Solomon Emilio Rosidin and Mohd Wafiyuddin Abdul Manaf.