PETALING JAYA: Gavin Green is hoping to walk tall in the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters at Seri Selangor Golf Club this weekend – and boost his hopes of qualifying for the US Amateur Championship.
The lanky 19-year-old will take on the Asian Tour’s top players armed with the confidence of knowing that he can hold his own against the likes of title-holder Thaworn Wiratchant and Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand, India’s Anirban Lahiri, Australian Scott Hend and Baek Seuk-hyun of South Korea.
Gavin’s younger brother, Galven, will also be featuring after winning the Under-15 category of the Etiqa Selangor International Junior Masters to qualify for the tournament.
It will be the first time that the siblings will be playing together in a professional golf event.
In his last two appearances on the region’s premier Tour, Gavin finished tied for 18th and 22nd at the Iskandar Johor Open and Maybank Malaysian Open respectively.
“I know I can compete with the professionals. I still have a lot of things to learn ... I’ll hang on to my amateur status. I’m not there yet (professional level) but I’m getting there. I still have a lot of work and learning to do – mental-wise. But I’m getting close,” he said.
The University of New Mexico undergraduate is back home for the summer holidays and wants to secure his spot in the US Amateur Championship in August with a strong showing at Seri Selangor. The meet is regarded as one of the most prestigious amateur events in the world.
“The cutoff date for the US Amateur is at the end of this week so I need to do well here. I’m only two spots away,” said Green, who is ranked 52nd in the amateur world rankings.
With the Seri Selangor course running hard and fast due to the dry conditions, big-hitting Green knows that he must stay patient to score well.
“The course is hard and you have to be really patient. It will be a lot easier if you keep it in play. I would have some advantage with my distance in some holes but not all. There’s a lot of thinking to do this week,” said Green, who has been paired with the Asian Tour’s two biggest hitters – Hend and Anton Haig – for the first two rounds.
The in-form Shaaban Hussin, who won a tournament on the domestic circuit last week, reckons that the Selangor Masters will offer him the best chance to win a maiden title on the Asian Tour.
Shaaban, who is among a strong 40-man Malaysian contingent, has come close on a handful of occasions. But, with Seri Selangor being his home course, he is hoping to capitalise on his local knowledge.
“My driving and putting have been good so hopefully I can continue with this form and become the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters champion,” said Shaaban.
“I won in Penang last week. That course was short and my driving and putting were good. Hopefully, I can bring that form into this tournament.”
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