Asian Tour stalwarts hail Green as region's new star

Malaysia’s Gavin Green left many of the Asian Tour’s established stars in awe of his talent after he held his own to finish tied-sixth at the recent Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters.

Gavin Green WHSM 2013At only 19 years of age, the Malaysian amateur showed he can match up against the region’s best players when he spearheaded the home charge since day one and upstaged several of the Tour’s marquee names after four days of intense competition.

Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul, who completed a wire-to-wire victory at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters, hailed Green as the next hope for Asian golf after witnessing the Malaysian’s class act at the Seri Selangor Golf Club.

“In two to three years, I won’t be able to match up with him (Green). I told him to starting buying a house in the United States after his tee shot on the par five fifth green where he had a sand wedge into the green. I told him that he is looking at PGA Tour right now. There’s no such thing as stepping stone for him. He will be on the PGA Tour quicker than he thinks,” said the 29-year-old Thai.

Australia’s Scott Hend, a three-time winner on the region’s premier Tour, played alongside Green in the opening two rounds and was impressed with the Malaysian who was bidding to become only the fourth amateur to win on the Asian Tour last week.

“He’s a good player. When I first saw him, he played golf on Thursday and Friday like how I do on Saturday and Sunday. He’s very aggressive. I guess he’s got nothing to lose at the moment and all to gain. He goes for his shots like a 19 year old should. He’s got a bright future. He’s a good ball striker, hits it very long,” said Hend.

Hend, however believes Green will need to adapt to the short putter when the anchoring ban is enforced in 2016. “I don’t know what he’s going to do with the belly putter. He’s got a good swing and it seems to have a lot of good things going for him. He’s very young and he just needs to learn to use the short putter,” said the Australian.

Green also earned plaudits for calling a penalty on himself when his ball moved on the 11th green during the final round. He believes he will be back in contention soon.

“I’ve got to try to play better when I make the cut. I played well all week. I can’t complain about that. I’ve got to practice more, practice more, especially on the short game. But I’m getting close to them (the pros). It’s a good experience,” said the University of New Mexico undergraduate, who is back in Malaysia for the summer holidays.

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