Gavin Green will be unfazed by the big names and the pressure of being the Asian Tour Order of Merit champion at the SMBC Singapore Open that starts on Thursday.

The big-hitting Malaysian had a very successful 2017 on the Asian Tour, evident from his number one position on the merit list. The 24-year-old enjoyed three second-place finishes and a win, at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters.

During the year, he also had the chance to play alongside elite players such as major champion Justin Thomas and 13-time European Tour winner Paul Casey. Last week, he was up against the best golfers from Europe at the biennial EurAsia Cup.

The experiences on Tour have helped shaped Green into a better golfer and he’ll be looking to use the things that he has learned in 2017 to excel this year, starting at the SMBC Singapore Open.

Quincy Quek of Singapore will also be teeing up at this year’s SMBC Singapore Open, a tournament that will always remain close to his heart. Last year, his daughter was born just a few days prior to the event. He will look forward to playing in front of the home crowd again.

Pat Perez is enjoying a career revival after recovering from his shoulder injury. Perez, who won in Malaysia last year, will be competing on Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course for the first time. He gives the layout a seal of approval after practicing on it on Monday.   

The Asian Tour season opener features a US$1 million prize purse and it is jointly-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO). Apart from Perez, other marquee names such as Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and Ryo Ishikawa will also be competing at the SMBC Singapore Open.

Did you know:

  • Gavin Green is the second youngest Order of Merit champion in Asian Tour history.  Korean Noh Seung-yul was 19 years old when he won the merit race in 2010.
  • He is the first Malaysian to win the Order of Merit.
  • Green is ranked first in driving distance in 2017, averaging 314.08 yards off the tee.
  • Quincy Quek’s tied-26th finish at the SMBC Singapore Open was his best on the Asian Tour in 2017.
  • He won once on the Asian Development Tour, at the 2012 Orchard Golf Championship.
  • The SMBC Singapore Open will be part of The Open Qualifying Series for 2018. The leading four places (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties will secure their spots at The 147th Open at Carnoustie from July 19 to 22.
  • This year marks the 52nd edition of Singapore’s National Open.
  • The SMBC Singapore Open is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the JGTO for the third consecutive year.

Player Interviews:

Gavin Green (Mas)

It’s fun. I enjoy it (being an Order of Merit winner). But I still had to perform and play well. There are obviously more expectations and pressure. I have to practice harder and step up my mind game as well.

I am going to play in two Tours, as I also have my European Tour card this year. Adjusting to European weather and atmosphere is going to be a challenge for me. Goal-wise, being in the world top-100 is one of them and winning a European Tour event is also one of them. The rest are more detailed which I’m still trying to figure out. I’m going to take it event by event and enjoy the game as much as I can as it’s not that often that I can get to play on two Tours. However, Asia will always be home no matter what.

2017 has taught me that I can do it. It has showed in my results. It was tough at first as I was learning about the Tour and the players. But now, I’ve got to know the professional game a lot better. Things change very quickly at a tournament and results switch really fast. I’m thankful for the things that happened during the year and I’m grateful to be able to get the experience. I’m going to use it to my full potential and become a better player. Winning the Order of Merit again will be great, but I’ll just go out there, play my best and see what happens.

I’ve played here (on the Serapong course) a few times. I was leading at some point too. I think it suits me well as I can hit the longer irons. Some holes are really long and I have no problem with that, too. The breeze makes it tougher for everyone. Those who control their ball flight and manage the course well will win the event.

Quincy Quek (Sgp)

When SMBC are the title sponsors of the tournament, the event has been done really well and the turnout has been really good. I look forward to playing in front of the home crowd.

Last year was memorable for me. My daughter was born a few days before the event started. It was quite a messy few days for me leading up to the event. I was sleeping in the hospital ward with my wife and baby. It was different and I guess it will be something I will never experience again.

It is always nice to play in this event and the course is in great shape. I’m just looking to go out there and play well just like every other week. If I can keep it on the fairways, hit the greens and create birdie chances, then the score will inevitably be a good one.

Pat Perez (Usa)

I actually love it (Singapore). I have come to Asia a bunch now. I was in KL a few months ago. I do like it though. I can’t believe how awesome that city is over there. Clean, nice, people are fantastic here. And it has been a great experience so far.

I have been playing well for about 15 months now. I have a lot of confidence in what I am doing and I am very excited to be playing so well.

I had surgery and I was out for eight months. It was a lot of motivation to come back. I wanted to continue my career and not be one of those guys who has surgery and disappeared. The work I put in, I didn’t really think I was going to get some success out of it. It has been amazing and I am just enjoying the ride.

I don’t really worry about it (being himself) at all. I have a lot of friends out here and I have been around a long time. I have found myself and just my way of life, being 41 now and I have been through a lot of things. 17 years on the PGA Tour. It is like anything, you grow, and what works and what doesn’t work.

I don’t worry about outside opinions or comments. I think that has really helped me in the last 16 months. It is not trying to impress everybody and fit in. I fit in because I am three-time winner on the PGA Tour and I have never lost my Tour card. I just do me, that’s it.

- Advertisement -