Gavin Green showed why he is Malaysia’s top professional golfer when he comfortably won the Corolla Cross Cup at the Palm Garden Golf Club, bagging his first victory on home soil since the Tun Ahmad Sarji Trophy in February last year.

Gavin carded a five-under 67 to finish with a three-day aggregate of 16-under 200, easily brushing aside the challenge from Paul San who was co-leader with him after two rounds. Paul shot an even par 72 that included three birdies and three bogeys. Nicholas Fung charged up the ladder to share second place with Paul on 11-under 205.

“I’m really happy to win this event which is part of the Toyota Tour,” said the 29-year-old
Gavin who will return to Europe in 10 days to compete in four consecutive events on the DP World Tour. “I’m thankful to everyone for supporting me and I’d like to dedicate this victory to my brother Galven who just celebrated his birthday.”

Gavin, looking forward to his first win on the DP World Tour, will compete in Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Ireland and England. Currently ranked 199th in the Official World Golf Rankings, Gavin is also looking forward to representing Malaysia at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The Corolla Cross Cup is the seventh leg of the Toyota Tour presented by UMW Toyota Motor, managed by the Professional Golf Malaysia and delivered by MST Golf Group Berhad. The men’s purse is RM180,000 with the winner receiving RM31,500. The ladies’ champion will receive RM10,000 from a pool of RM30,000.

Gavin recorded six birdies on holes 3, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 14. A lone bogey 4 on the par 3 seventh spoilt his scorecard. Teeing off with Paul and Ervin Chang in the final group, Gavin moved to a two-stroke advantage after he birdied the third and Paul had bogeyed the previous hole.

Gavin never lost the lead from then on. Ervin meanwhile registered just one birdie on the par 5 fourth and finished at 10-under 206.

Amateur Liyana Durisic meanwhile exhibited maturity when she won the Ladies
championship by defeating Aretha Pan with a sensational 24-foot birdie putt on the second play-off hole. It was her first victory, having played the Vios Cup at Templer Park where she finished fifth.

Aretha could have easily won the championship while holding a three-shot cushion going into the final hole. She blocked her drive but couldn’t find her ball in the flower bed. She teed-up again, found the fairway and then the green but couldn’t make bogey. Liyana meanwhile birdied to force the play-off. It was a three-shot swing.

Both players completed their final round tied at 3-under 213 and headed to the first hole for the play-off. Liyana pushed her approach into the right greenside bunker while Aretha played a superb shot that ended up six feet from the cup. Liyana blasted out of the bunker and then bravely converted her par from 12 feet. Aretha missed her birdie putt just right of the hole.

On the second play-off hole, both players found the green, with Aretha slightly further, from 25 feet. She left her putt short but Liyana, sensing victory, calmly slotted the ball into the cup, much to the cheers of the crowd. She was also awarded Best Amateur for ladies while Aretha took home the RM10,000 for being Best Ladies Professional. This is the second event that Aretha has starred in a play-off and lost.

Marcus Lim won the men’s Best Amateur title. He finished with a creditable 7-under 209.

The Toyota Tour will take a month’s break before the Camry Cup at Forest City in Johor on October 3-5. The second Qualifying School will be held at the Palm Resort GCC from Sept 12-14.

Final leading scores

(Men) 200 Gavin Green (67-66-67)
205 Paul San (68-65-72), Nicholas Fung (66-68-68)
206 Ervin Chang (65-70-71)
207 Khor Kheng Hwai (64-72-71), Kenneth De Silva (70-67-70)
208 Kemarol Baharin (69-70-69)
209 Kim Leun Kwang (70-70-69), Marcus Lim (am, 73-67-69)

213 Liyana Durisic (am, 67-75-71), Aretha Pan (69-72-72) Liyana won after 2-hole play-off
218 Dianne Luke (73-71-74)
226 Allycia Gan (am, 74-78-74)

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