Shah Alam, Malaysia, February 27: Young talent Gavin Green of Malaysia claimed his first professional victory on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) after closing with a five-under-par 67 at the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Green, who started the final round with a one-shot advantage, showed great resolve in getting the job done when he fired six birdies against a lone bogey to win by two shots with a 19-under-par 269 total at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club’s garden course.
India’s Chikkarangappa S., who played with Green for all four rounds, piled the pressure on the Malaysian with an eagle-birdie on 16 and 17 but a bogey on the last dashed his hopes of a possible play-off as he settled for second place in the RM200,000 (approximately US$46,600) event.
2014 ADT Order of Merit winner Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand took third place following a 66 while compatriot Thammanoon Sriroj settled for fourth after returning with the day’s best score of 65.
Green, who turned professional last June, was overjoyed to make up for the heartbreak of the tournament’s last edition when he was pipped to the title by one shot after holding a five-shot lead heading into the final round.
“I was feeling the pressure, especially after Chikkarangappa eagled 16. I knew the scores were close but I just can’t let anything go. I kept to my momentum out there and I trusted myself a lot. I was nervous but I told myself to stay focused. I just played my own game. I told myself not to focus on the outcome but on the process,” Green said.
Green took home the winner’s prize purse of US$8,341 and received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points courtesy of his victory, which was also his second title on the region’s burgeoning Tour. He claimed his first ADT title in 2014 when he was still an amateur.
“I made an important par-save on 17 from 15-feet which gave me a bit of confidence heading into the last. I hit it close on 18 and made a four-footer for birdie there. Chikkarangappa played awesome. I guess I was more fortunate.
“This win means a lot to me. It has been a slow start for me this season but this win will definitely give me more confidence in future. I am very thankful for the great support this week. My friends and family have been very supportive. Even my grandmother is here today,” added Green.
Chikkarangappa took the defeat in his stride as he was left to rue a missed opportunity to secure a third ADT title and also a first outside of India.
“I didn’t get off to a good start. The putter was cold, especially on the front nine. But I got some momentum back after making birdies on 11 and 14. I sank a 20-footer eagle putt on 16 after punching my rescue from about 255 yards and I went on to birdie 17. That gave me a lot of confidence but unfortunately I didn’t finish well,” said the 22-year-old Indian.
“It was still a fantastic week for me nevertheless, especially playing with new clubs in the bag. I am taking a lot of positives from this week and looking forward to play in the upcoming events,” added Chikkarangappa, who traded one eagle and four birdies against two bogeys.
With the Olympic Games looming this July where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.