Gavin hopes to recharge in first return to Asian Tour in two years

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian No. 1 Gavin Green (pic) will turn to the Asian Tour to revive his golf career after losing his European Tour card this season.

The 27-year-old has his first chance to stamp his mark when he competes in the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship in Thailand today.

The US$1mil (RM4mil) tournament will mark the restart of the region’s premier Tour after a 19-month hiatus due to Covid-19.

The Tour has been suspended since the first week of March 2020.

After this week, the Tour will continue with the Laguna Phuket Championship from Dec 2-5, which also carries a prize purse of US$1mil.

For Gavin, it will be his first return to the Asian Tour in two years. He last played at the Thailand Masters in Lopburi, in November 2019.

Gavin has spent most of his time in Europe after securing full playing privileges in 2018, by virtue of being the Asian Tour Order of Merit champion in 2017 (courtesy of the two Tours partnership back then).

However, after four full seasons, Gavin failed to retain his card for the first time after finishing outside the top 121 in the Race to Dubai standings.

He could only make eight cuts in 26 appearances to finish 168th.

However, all is not lost for him as he still holds a five-year Asian Tour exemption which runs until the end of the 2022 season as the past Order of Merit champion.

“It’s been a tough season for me in Europe, so it’s good to be back in Asia after being away for long (since his last trip in Malaysia in 2020),” said Gavin, who won the 2017 Taiwan Masters for his sole Asian Tour victory.

“I haven’t been able to recharge in Europe and I hope to do that in Asia.

“It’s nice seeing all the familiar faces again, all of us on Asian Tour are like a family.”

Gavin will have an extra boost to do well this week as his younger brother Galven is among the five Malaysians in the fray.

Galven made the 144-man field through sponsor’s invitation.

The others are former Asian Tour winners Ben Leong, Nicholas Fung and 2019 PGM Order of Merit winner Amir Nazrin Jailani.