Monday, 21 April 2014 | MYT 9:51 PM
Gavin gives himself a no-go for Asian Games
Gavin Kyle Green has ruled himself out of the Asian Games due to studies obligations. - filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s hopes of winning a first-ever Asian Games medal from golf in Incheon, South Korea, have suffered a huge blow with top amateur Gavin Kyle Green ruling himself out.
Gavin is unable to feature for the national team at the Asiad this September because of his studies in the United States as well as his commitments to his university golf team.
“I was asked about it (by the Malaysian Golf Association) but I can’t make it ... athough it would have been my first Asian Games.
“I have my studies and there are also the US college meets that I have to take part in ... so, these come first,” said the lanky Gavin, who is now into his third year of business studies at the University of New Mexico.
There are indications that Gavin will turn professional after he graduates, although he preferred to put those thoughts aside for now.
“I have thought about my future but I have one more year and the goal now is to finish the year and see what happens,” said Gavin, who just missed out on winning the first-ever SEA Games gold medal in golf in Myanmar last December after losing in the second hole playoff.
Gavin would have been the best bet for Malaysia at the Asiad against the Koreans, Japanese and Chinese golfers.
The 20-year-old emerged as the best local finisher for the second successive year at the recently-concluded Maybank Malaysian Open despite struggling to find his best form at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
Gavin carded a closing two-under 70 to settle for a share of 47th place with a one-over 289 total alongside professionals Khor Kheng Hwai (71) and Nicholas Fung (73) on Sunday.
Starting on the back nine, Gavin struggled to get going with two bogeys in his opening three holes before firing three straight birdies through to the sixth.
A double bogey on the seventh saw him making the turn on 37. He then recovered superbly to birdie three more holes on the front nine to finish just short of an even-par performance.
Gavin may have fallen short of his target to improve on his joint-22nd finish last year, but he was still pleased with his performance, especially as he arrived here after playing back-to-back competitions in the United States.
“I felt like it was a really good tournament for me because I played solid all week. I putted well but did not drive the ball as well,” said Gavin.
“I ground it out quite well. I didn’t make many putts on the last two days but I recovered well.
“I had a couple of bad holes but overall it was a good tournament for me.
“I would put it down to a bit of heightened expectation on my part.
“I was probably trying a bit too hard to make ground on the last few holes each day but it did not always work out right.”