Malaysia’s top amateur Gavin Green fired an impressive second round 68 to join four other Malaysians in the weekend of the Maybank Malaysian Open.
The 21-year-old Green, who is into his final year at the University of New Mexico, sank seven birdies against three bogeys at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club’s West Course to move up to tied 21st place on two-under-par 142, nine shots behind co-leaders Lee Westwood and Alejandro Canizares.
Danny Chia, one off the lead after day one, fought back from a poor start to sign for a 74 and a 141 total which placed him tied 16th in the US$3 million championship sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Young talent Nicholas Fung carded his second straight 71 for a share of 21st place while Sukree Othman will head into the weekend rounds in equal 41st position following a 71 as well. R. Nachimuthu battled to a 72 for tied 53rd place on 145 as 17 other Malaysians missed the halfway cut set at 146.
Long-hitting Green, who won an Asian Development Tour title by 11 shots last season, overcame a bout of fever to haul himself back into the Maybank Malaysian Open where he finished tied 22nd in 2013 and was joint 47th last year.
“I made bogey on one but that’s fine. Usually my best rounds come when I bogey the first hole. I birdied the two par fives and hit a good one on six and eight. I was even then after I told myself that ‘we are good’,” said Green.
“I wanted to stay patient and that’s what I did. I was in trouble a couple of times but got myself out of trouble. I birdied 18 from 20 feet which was nice. The gallery was great. I’m just glad I made the weekend after my opening round. I’ve been sick the last couple of days. I was dizzy at the start of round one. I wasn’t there a 100% unlike today and that was the difference.”
He plans to use his big-hitting game to good effect in his hopes to climb up the leaderboard. “I’ll try to go low. Nothing will stop me now. I birdied all the par fives today so I’ll try and do that tomorrow. I was looking at the cut line for a little while but I’ve played on this golf course before and as long as I can hit my shots on the fairway, I will have a chance,” he said.
Three bogeys in his first six holes dampened Chia’s hopes of staying in touch with the leaders but he fought back with two birdies against another dropped shot.
“I wasn’t hitting bad shots but my putting was off. I didn’t get the speed right and I missed a lot of makeable putts,” said the 42-year-old, who is Malaysia’s first winner on the Asian Tour.
“I’m not thinking about winning or making the cut. Those are the sort of things which I don’t want to think about. I fought back quite well.”