July 18, 2018 / 10:28 AM / 3 months ago

Malaysian Green relishing first major challenge

(Reuters) - Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Gavin Green is hopeful of making his nation proud as he prepares for his debut at a major tournament at this week’s British Open.

FILE PHOTO: 2016 Rio Olympics - Golf - Preliminary - Men's Individual Stroke Play - Olympic Golf Course - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. - Gavin Green (MAS) Malaysia hits a tee shot during the first round of the men's Olympic golf compeititon. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

The 24-year-old’s three runner-up finishes and victory at the Taiwan Masters last October helped him seal the Merit title for 2017 and earned him a place at the world’s oldest major.

He will be the third and youngest Malaysian to play in the event after Iain Steel and Danny Chia.

“It’s very humbling to be able to represent Malaysia in a Major like The Open. I am very happy to have the opportunity to do so and I hope that I can continue to make the country proud,” Green told the Open website.

“Whenever I see the Malaysian flag flying in the tournaments that I play in, I will feel very privileged to be able to represent the country.

“I’m excited, of course. You can feel the buzz in the air and I’m just going to go out there, try to enjoy myself and do the best that I can.”

Green is part of an elite field at the 147th Open which also features India’s Shubhankar Sharma, Thailand’s Danthai Boonma and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the highest-ranked Asian player at the event.

Green, who finished tied 19th at the Scottish Open last week, is expecting a tough layout at Carnoustie.

“The course’s impressive,” he said. “When the wind blows, it will be very challenging. Playing in Europe has definitely been an eye opener.

“You learn to appreciate the game so much more as you learn to handle the different courses. I am definitely practicing harder and improving on the variety of shots I have in the bag.”

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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