Green hopes juniors learn and have fun at TPCKL

Gavin Green is hoping that the participants in next week’s Gavin Green-SportExcel Junior Golf tournament will be able to benefit from the experience while enjoying themselves.

Hosted by the Malaysian No 1, the inaugural event takes place at TPC Kuala Lumpur’ East Course on December 18-20 with a field of 217 junior golfers comprising 149 boys and 68 girls. Green is co-running the tournament with SportExcel (Foundation for Malaysian Sporting Excellence), which sponsors junior development in 12 sports and conducts its own junior golf circuit.

“At the end of the day, I just want the kids to enjoy themselves and hopefully they will take something away from it,” said Green, who made history in 2017 when he became the first Malaysian  to top the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

“I’ve always wanted to stage a junior event. It’s something I wanted to do since I was young and it’s a way for me to give back to the juniors,” he added.

Green noted that he chose to work with SportExcel as it was on the foundation’s junior golf circuit that he honed his skills at an early age.

“I started playing in SportExcel events when I was seven and a half and continued playing on the circuit until I was 17, when I left for college. This is where I honed my skills and where I learnt how to compete. It was a huge stepping stone in terms of my junior career,” said Green, who turns 25 this December 28.

Green will be conducting two clinics during tournament week when he will share some golfing tips as well as his experiences on tour.

“I’d like to share some of the things I went through, some which were good and some, not so good. Hopefully, some of the information will help these kids,” said Green, who finished 84th on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai this year to keep his card for 2019.

There will also be a session with Green’s personal trainer, Dr Micaiah Meuer, for the older players.

“Dr Meuer, who is probably one of the best in this business, will share certain things which are really crucial but often overlooked – warm-up stretches, preventing injuries, off- season workouts and things like that,” noted Green.

The tournament will see five categories for boys and five for girls in the following age groups  – A (15-18) B (13-14), C (11-12), D (9-10) and E (8 and below). The A and B categories will be played over three rounds (with a cut after 36 holes) and offer World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) points. The rest of the categories will be contested over two rounds.

SportExcel chairman, Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar, voiced his delight that Green had decided to team up with the foundation to give back to the game. “I am thrilled that Gavin is working with us on his inaugural event. He has been a great advocate of the sport and I know many of the juniors look up to him. This a great example of him remembering his roots,” he stressed.

SportExcel executive director Sivanandan Chinnadurai noted that they had to turn away some entrants due to the overwhelming response.

“We tried our hardest to accept as many as possible, as we did not want to disappoint any of the kids who have shown so much enthusiasm. Unfortunately, even with the booking of the entire East Course at TPCKL with play throughout the day, we could not accept everyone,” he said, noting that those who did not get in will still be invited for the clinics.

Sanctioned by the Malaysian Golf Association, the event is sponsored by Maybank, TaylorMade, adidas, TPC Kuala Lumpur, MST Golf and Junior Golf Scoreboard

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