Green focused on the task at hand at CIMB Classic

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Current Asian Tour number one Gavin Green of Malaysia knows he has to stay focused and bring his ‘A’ game to the CIMB Classic when it begins at the TPC Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

With the prize money from the lucrative US$7 million event counting towards the Order of Merit, Green is bidding to extend his lead atop the Merit ranking and become the first Malaysian to win the accolade.

Green will spearhead the Asian Tour challenge with the leading 10 available players from the Order of Merit coming up against a star-studded line-up that features Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and Justin Thomas, who are ranked inside the top-five on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).

Having been dislodged from the top of the money list since Green’s breakthrough in Chinese Taipei earlier this month, Australia’s Scott Hend is determined to reclaim his position with another strong performance.

The big-hitting Australian believes the merit battle will go down the wire with the quality and depth of the leading contenders.

Did you know?

  • Gavin Green will reunite with defending champion Justin Thomas at the CIMB Classic. They played college golf together in the United States and have been paired together in the first two rounds together with PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, Xander Schauffele.
  • Green’s father, Gary will be carrying his son’s bag again this week. The father-son partnership, both inside and outside the ropes, have been very strong with two out of Green’s four professional victories coming from that partnership.
  • This will be Green’s second CIMB Classic appearance but the first time he qualified through the Order of Merit ranking. Last year he played in the event after winning the National Qualifier.
  • Green’s grandfather passed away last month, a few hours after he finished second in Korea. He continues to play in honour of his late grandfather, who he shared a great relationship with.
  • Green leads Hend by slightly over US$100,000 on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
  • The Australian had occupied top spot on the money list for about a month since he finished second at the Omega European Masters in September.
  • Hend became the first Australian to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2016 and is the fourth player to surpass US$1 million in earnings during a Asian Tour season.
  • He finished in tied seventh position in the CIMB Classic last year, after going 17-under in the final three rounds. He struggled with illness on the opening day and returned with a 74.

Players’ Quotes

Scott Hend (Aus)

There are three different things that are quite important for me this week. I’ve to try to catch Gavin on the Order of Merit here in Asia, get more world ranking points wise and hopefully get onto the PGA Tour. I’ve made history by being the first Australian to do that.  Gavin’s trying to make history, I would say the pressure is on Gavin. I’ve got a limited schedule here in Asia so I need to take advantage of the opportunities I get. 

For Gavin, he’s a bit more free and can play whatever events he needs to, but he’s still going to have to perform because there’s a lot of guys within the top 10 on the Order of Merit that can possibly come from well behind and jump him. I know this course quite well and I’m quite comfortable playing around here.  It’s just a matter of managing the heat, which is always a big problem around here.

Gavin Green (Mas)

It’s a huge thing (to win the CIMB Classic and Asian Tour Order of Merit) and it’s a huge deal for Malaysia, but at the same time I’m here to do my job.  I’m here to play golf, I’m here to enjoy my week and I’m here to, you know, just like I say, just enjoy the week with dad.  My family’s coming out, fans and supporters.  So I’m really happy to be here.

It has been a very big year, especially from where I started.  I just got my Asian Tour card, I made a couple of cuts and was consistent.  Then started to finish second, second, and then thankfully a win came the last two weeks. I’m going to obviously try my best.  It’s nice, obviously it would be nice to win, but I’m just here to go out and shoot a score, play the best I can and we’ll see where that leads.

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