MELBOURNE: Malaysia's Gavin Green has earned the last and final spot in the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf later this year after being announced as one of the first 28 players by tournament officials on Friday.
Contested at The Metropolitan Golf Club in the Melbourne Sandbelt from Nov 22-25, the World Cup of Golf will see 56 players vie for the largest prize-money purse in Australian golf, with US$7 million on offer.
The 24-year-old Green squeezed into the final field after Taiwan’s C.T. Pan and Chile’s Joaquin Niemann both decided not to commit to the tournament. He was the second reserve from the Official World Golf Ranking after Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent.
“It’s amazing that I’ve qualified for the World Cup of Golf. I’ve always wanted to play in the event and to have the opportunity to represent Malaysia, I can’t wait to get to Melbourne and hope to give it my best shot,” said Green.
“I first took notice of the World Cup of Golf when Tiger (Woods) and Mark O’Meara won it in Malaysia in 1999. I was like six years old then and had just started playing golf.
“And when the Molinari brothers (Francesco and Edoardo) won it in 2009, I kind of thought ‘hey, I want to try and do this too with my younger brother (Galven) one day.’
“Strangely, I’ve never been to Australia before, so it’s something that I’ll look forward to in November.
“It’s a big deal when you can travel to new places and I’ve heard the sandbelt courses in Melbourne are really good and they suit the long hitters. I’ll be curious to see what it’s like when I get there.”
Green created history in 2017 after becoming the first Malaysian and the second youngest golfer to lift the Asian Tour Order of Merit title
During the season, he recorded a maiden Asian Tour victory in Taiwan and finished runner-up on two other occasions.
In recent weeks, the long-hitting Malaysian finished third in the Czech Masters and T12 at the European Masters and is currently ranked 173rd in the world.
In the last World Cup of Golf held at Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne two years ago, Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung teamed up to finish T22.
Malaysia’s best finish was in 1994 when M. Ramayah and the late P. Gunasegaran finished ninth in Puerto Rico.
The committed player from each of the top 28 countries has until Sept 20 choose his partner for the tournament.