To say it’s been a busy and fruitful career start for rookie professional Galven Green is putting it mildly.
An eye-opening South African jaunt on the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour from late February to mid-March was followed by the mandatory quarantine upon returning to Malaysia, and just yesterday the talented 21-year-old emerged tops in the PGA of Malaysia professional trials at Bukit Beruntung Golf & Country Club.
“It didn’t really hit me the first couple of events that I had actually turned pro! But now that the reality has sunk in, it feels good to finally be doing something that I love as a job. It’s a dream come true,” said Galven, who won the trials by two strokes after rounds of 67 and 75.
“One thing I’ve learnt from playing the game for a living as opposed to amateur and college golf is that you definitely have to learn to stay patient. You need to be focused on every shot since one shot can make such a big difference.”
In four consecutive events in and around Johannesburg on the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour, Galven made the cut in all and raked up a best finish of 20th on the IGT Chase To Sunshine Tour #20 at Reading Golf Club in Alberton on March 8-10. Indeed, the young Malaysian made such a good impression that he has been granted affiliate membership on both the IGT Challenge Tour and Big Easy Tour, which since 2018 are run under the same umbrella but feature different end-of-season exemptions to the main South African circuit, the Sunshine Tour.
“There are many good players on both tours, all of whom want to be top in the world. A lot them are super-experienced and you can see that in their games. You learn a lot about yourself, for instance what is missing … for me, it was my wedge shots mainly and also the mental side, as well as pre-tournaments preparation,” said Galven, who had dad Gary on the bag in South Africa.
“Most of the courses I played were narrow and tight, so you really had to have good ball-striking. There were a lot of risk-and-reward holes, especially at Krugersdorp Golf Club, which was fun because we had to think as well and not just bomb it on every hole,” he added.
With no word yet on the resumption of the local PGM Tour and regional circuits, Galven plans to head back to South Africa towards the end of May to continue his Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour campaign.
“Right now, for me, it’s about finding out how professional life works and getting myself comfortable out there. I can’t wait to see what the future holds,” he shared.
Like elder brother Gavin, who is currently Malaysia’s top golfer, Galven played on the US college golf circuit for the University of New Mexico. Galven graduates this May after completing his senior year online due to Covid-19.
Galven noted that it would be cool to compete in a tournament with Gavin. “Of course I’d want to beat him! Gavin’s been my role model ever since we were kids and I’m proud of what he has accomplished.
“But I want to be better!”
By Jonathan Ponniah