Malaysia’s Gavin Green will make an eagerly-anticipated professional debut at the PGM Rahman Putra Championship on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) starting on Wednesday.
The big-hitting 21-year-old, who created headlines when he stormed to an 11-shot victory last year to become the first amateur to win on the ADT, will be aiming to come out with all guns blazing when he heads to the Rahman Putra Golf Club.
Highly-rated as one of Malaysia’s brightest young talents, Green enjoyed a decorated amateur career at the University of New Mexico in the United States and rose to fifth place on the men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
He signed off on his amateur career as the 12th ranked amateur golfer and was the second highest placed Asian after Chinese Taipei’s Pan Cheng-tsung.
Green has also signed up with Excel Sports Management, which manages sporting celebrities such as former world number one Tiger Woods. Woods’ manager Mark Steinberg will help oversee Green’s professional career.
While he cannot wait to tee up for his first event in the play-for-pay ranks, Green is aware that the expectations and pressure will be a lot different at the RM250,000 (approximately US$69,250) ADT event.
“I’ve completed my college career in the United States. The plan to turn professional was always in the pipeline. Playing as an amateur before and as a professional now definitely requires a change in mindset and I will take some time to get used to it,” said Green.
“Winning on the ADT last year helped a lot with my confidence but I was playing as an amateur back then. I am sure playing as a professional will be different. Right now, I will just focus on these next two weeks and try to play in whichever events that I can get starts in.
“Rahman Putra is a tough course with a couple of blind holes, so I just have to be very patient. I’m currently working on parts of my game. I haven’t played competitive golf for the last three weeks so I am just trying to get back into the groove of things.”
Green will be joined at the PGM Rahman Putra Championship by 2013 ADT Order of Merit champion Nicholas Fung, Arie Irawan and Danny Chia, all from Malaysia.
Other players tipped to contend for the title this week include current Order of Merit leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei, New Zealander Sean Riordan, American Casey O’toole, Janne Kaske of Finland and Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat.
“Right now, I just want to stay patient and positive. I am working very hard on my swing to get it together for this week,” said Green.
He has also received a sponsor’s exemption into next week’s Queen’s Cup in Koh Samui, Thailand, which is a US$300,000 Asian Tour tournament.
Green’s best result on the Asian Tour was recorded at the 2013 Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters where he finished tied sixth. He has also finished inside the top-50 at the last three Maybank Malaysian Opens, an event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
The winner of the PGM Rahman Putra Championship will take home a prize purse of US$12,118 and receive six OWGR points while the top six players and ties also earn points based on a sliding scale.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 22 tournaments this season.
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 OWGR points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com