Following a one-week break, Malaysia’s Gavin Green resumes his quest to get into the top 50 of the European Tour’s Race To Dubai (RTD) rankings in the KLM Open, which tees off tomorrow at The International in Amsterdam.
This will mark the start of a possible five-week swing for the 25-year-old, who is seeking to become the first Malaysian to make it to the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai this November 21-24. The top 50 players on the RTD rankings qualify for the event at Jumeirah Golf Estates, which offers the largest winner’s purse in golf – a whopping US$3 million from the US$8 million total purse.
“I’m playing the KLM Open in Amsterdam, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and the Alfred Dunhill Links in Scotland. After that, I’ll probably do Spain [Mutuactivos Open de España] and the Italian Open, so that will make it five weeks in a row,” said Green, who is currently in 58th place on the RTD rankings.
Green noted that deciding which events to play and which to skip is a strategic and collective exercise by his team. “My dad and my manager work with me on that. This year is different from last year when I had to play almost every event to keep my card. This year, I try not to play more than three or four events in a row so that I can pace myself better and be more prepared.
“Having said that, I’m pushing for the top 50 on the RTD so it makes sense to play these five events. Depending on how I do, I probably won’t play France and Portugal [Amundi Open de France and Portugal Masters]. This will give me a chance to get rested before the Turkish event [Turkish Airlines Open],” stressed the long-hitting player, who made history in 2017 when he became the first Malaysian to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
The US$7 million Turkish Airlines Open is the first stop of the European’s Tour’s lucrative final stretch of three consecutive Rolex Series events. The U$7.5 million Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa follows before the Dubai season-ender.
In 20 European Tour starts so far this season, Green has raked up eight top 20 finishes including three top 10s. Having been at the top of the leaderboard a number of times, he noted that he is more comfortable now playing in the final flight. “It’s not easy out there but I have to take it one week at a time, one day at a time, one shot at a time,” he said.
As for a historic first European Tour win for Malaysia, Green noted: “I’ve just got to keep giving myself chances and keep at it.”