The 21-year-old blew a five-shot lead on home soil a fortnight ago but showed no signs of a hangover as he fired a seven-under-par 65 to lead by one shot at the US$100,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Gyeongjun Lee of Korea, Mitchell Slorach of Singapore, Sutijet Kooratanapisa of Thailand, Jordan Sherratt of Australia and Jarin Todd of the United States were bunched up in second place on 66s.
Defending champion James Byrne of Scotland, Danny Chia of Malaysia and Danthai Boonma of Thailand were a further shot back in tied seventh place at the Damai Indah Golf, BSD course.
Green’s defeat two weeks ago was a bitter pill to swallow but he hopes to recover and use the experience in his advantage as he hunts for a first professional win. He won on the ADT last year as an amateur.
“It was an experience two weeks ago. It is obviously hard to forget but I will use it as a good learning experience. I need to learn from my mistakes and see what I’ve done wrong to try and improve,” said Green.
“I found something small in my game which helps me be more consistent. I’m swinging it a little bit easier and letting the club do what it is supposed to do. That’s helped my score today,” explained the Malaysian, who works with Chris O’Connell, who is also the coach of Matt Kuchar.
He got off to a hot start when he turned in 31 which included a six-foot eagle-three on the 18th hole. He traded four more birdies against two bogeys on his homeward nine to lead the chasing pack.
“I started quite solid and the momentum built up. I hit 17 greens today so I was confident with my game. I didn’t make any big mistakes and my two bogeys were a result of being in between clubs and a three putt,” he said.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to 21 tournaments in 2014. A record 25 tournaments has been confirmed for the 2015 season.
The ADT will continue to reward the top-five finishers on the final Order of Merit with Asian Tour cards for 2016.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading first round scores:
65 – Gavin GREEN (MAS)
66 – Gyeongjun LEE (KOR) , Mitchell SLORACH (SIN) , Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) , Jordan SHERRATT (AUS) , Jarin TODD (USA)
67 – Danthai BOONMA (THA) , James BYRNE (SCO) , Danny CHIA (MAS)
68 – Panuwat MUENLEK (THA) , Blake SNYDER (USA) , Jake STIRLING (AUS) , Sejun YOON (USA) , Oskar ARVIDSSON (SWE)
69 – Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA) , Scott BARR (AUS) , Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) , Brett MUNSON (USA) , Darren TAN (AUS) , LAM Chih Bing (SIN)
70 – Michael TRAN (VIE) , Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) , Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) , Mardan MAMAT (SIN) , Jack MUNRO (AUS) , Mithun PERERA (SRI) , Casey O’TOOLE (USA) , Himmat RAI (IND) , Lindsay RENOLDS (CAN) , Grant JACKSON (ENG) , Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) , Tirto TAMARDI (A) (INA) , Rudi ANTO (INA) , Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) , LEE Chieh-po (TPE) , Chanat SAKULPOLPHAISAN (THA) , CHOO Tze Huang (SIN)
71 – Pijit PETCHKASEM (THA) , Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) , Asep CAPRIE (INA) , Atthaphon SRIBOONKAEW (THA) , Rory HIE (INA) , Fajar Win NURYANTO (INA) , Zaw MOE (MYN) , Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA) , Annop TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) , KOH Deng Shan (SIN) , Rinaldi ADIYANDONO (INA) , Poosit SUPUPRAMAI (THA) , Nirun SAE-UENG (THA) , Josh SALAH (USA)