Malaysia’s Gavin Green revelled under testing links golf conditions on Friday to put himself in a good position heading into the weekend of the star-studded Genesis Scottish Open.
And he also contributed towards the tournament’s “Green Drive” initiative by successfully driving the 5th green during his second round of 4-under 66 at the Renaissance Golf Club, where organisers have pledged to plant 100 trees in Scotland for every successful effort.
A total of 29 players hit the green on the designated hole during a blustery and rainy day.
The 29-year-old Green sank seven birdies against three bogeys for tied 17th position on 5-under 135, five back of 36-hole leader Rory McIlroy, who carded a 66 for a one-shot lead in the US$9 million tournament co-sanctioned by the PGA TOUR and DP World. Korea’s Tom Kim (65) and Byeong Hun An (70) share second place with England’s Tyrrell Hatton (62).
A strong weekend could offer Green with some prized rewards, including a spot at The Open Championship next week or even a potential PGA TOUR card for next season.
“I’m pleased everything is coming together. It’s been a rollercoaster this year. I’ve had swing changes, wrist problems and injuries. I think overall, I kept it together, it wasn’t so wild. Bad shots were still playable and I made some putts,” said Green.
The Malaysian was delighted to charge up the leaderboard as conditions switched continuously with rain and winds prevailing over the stunning par-70 links course in North Berwick, which bared its teeth.
“It was tough. I warmed up in the rain, first few holes were in the rain and then it kind of went away and the weather came back in our last hole,” said Green. “It made the greens even slower which is tough. Just have to adapt which is a big thing here.
“We’ll be sticking to what we’ve been doing the past two days. It’s been good. Trying to not push and just let it happen. It’s a big thing for me. I’m getting better at letting it flow and not wanting to push it. It comes with age I guess.”
There are three tickets on offer to next week’s Open Championship while the leading 10 players not otherwise exempt from the DP World Tour will earn PGA TOUR cards at the end of this season. Green has registered four top-10s to be ranked 67th in the Race to Dubai rankings.
“It’s a big event. At the back of my mind, if you can have a good week, who knows what will change,” said Green.
“I just try to do what I have to do. The Open is not really on my mind. If it’s meant to be, so be it but I’m not going to chase it. As long as I’m consistent, get close to the lead, sooner or later it may happen.”
Green is making his fifth appearance in the Genesis Scottish Open, with a tied 19th being his best result in 2018. He is enjoying the challenges true Scottish links conditions.
“It’s different. You don’t know what kind of bounces you’re going to get, what kind of lies you’ll get. It’s a bit of a guessing game and if you guess it right on more than half the time, then you’ll be okay. I do enjoy this challenge as you have to hit different shots, especially around the greens. You have to trust the ground doing the work for you,” said Green.