Green out to impress at Indonesian Masters
Jakarta, December 13: Newly crowned Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Gavin Green of Malaysia is looking forward to showing why he is deserving of being labelled as Asia’s best player when the Indonesian Masters presented by Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN) and Telkom Indonesia starts on Thursday.
The Malaysian holds an unassailable lead on the money list and will be officially presented with the prestigious Order of Merit trophy at the Asian Tour glamorous Awards Night which will take place in the evening of the final day of the event.
The proud distinction of being the first Malaysian to hoist the coveted trophy is an honour Green holds dearly with pride. And the 23-year-old is determined to put up a performance that underlines his status as Asia’s number one at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
“It didn’t hit me (winning the Order of Merit) since there were so many people chasing me as they’ve been on Tour for a while. I had to keep up with them and I had high expectations for myself and it was a tough fight. My main goal at the start of the year was to keep my card and make sure I had somewhere to play. But once Hero Indian Open came along and a couple of good finishes came along, my goals changed. Patience is a big takeaway from that tournament (Shinhan Donghae Open). When it’s not your week you just have to accept it and move on. That really motivated me leading up to my win at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters,” said Green.
“It has been a long journey for me and it has been a great year. I want to end the year on a high especially with a good finish here at the Indonesian Masters and I want to put up a good show. I’m excited. It seems like length and accuracy is a pretty good combination to playing well on this course. Keeping it on the fairway is key since the greens are pretty receptive.”
World number six Justin Rose, who will be playing alongside Green in the first two rounds, is under no illustrious his debut at the Indonesian Masters will be a stroll in the park.
The Englishman has enjoyed a stellar 2017 season which has been highlighted by back-to-back wins in China and Turkey. While he wants to close the year with another victory in Jakarta, Rose is wary of the strength and depth of the Asian Tour field, which can put a dent in his title ambitions this week.
“It has been a great year, I had two great wins, and a good year does need victories. To have those two wins makes it a really good year. My goal is to win three times this year by winning this week. The last time I won three times in a year was back in 2002. Gavin’s obviously having an exception year and to wrap it up so early and get to come here to enjoy the season-ending event,” said Rose.
“I haven’t played with Gavin yet but seeing him on the range and we have mutual friends. He’s in the same management stable as me. I know he hits the ball a long way and I’ll definitely keep a close eye on him. The course is going to suit him this week and it’ll be good to get to know him better this week. A lot of players are coming through the Asian Tour and improving on their world rankings and getting into major championships. There are a lot of future stars from the Asian Tour.”
Brandt Snedeker, an eight-time PGA Tour winner, is also aware of the tough challenges ahead as he seeks to end an injury-plagued year with a memorable finish at the Asian Tour’s season-ending flagship event.
“I got kind of a fluke injury in June. I had to take about 12 week off. My body feels way better. I have had my treatments done. I have had lots of therapy to heal it. It feels way better. This is my third event back. I am excited to be here and see how I go against these guys. Coming to Jakarta has been great so far. We got here yesterday. I had seen the course on TV before so it’s great to see it today. It is in great shape, tough course, great set of par threes,” said Snedeker.
“Hopefully the weather holds off and we get it done on time. I always enjoy experiencing new cultures and being on the other side of the world in a place I have not been before. Asian golf has come a long way since the days of K.J. Choi. The influx of young players especially from Asia has been fun to watch and it’s great for the growth and game of golf.”
Indonesia’s highest ranked golfer George Gandranata will spearhead the home charge which will be represented by 26 locals.
Did you know?
- Gavin Green is the first Malaysian to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
- The 23-year-old is the second youngest golfer to win the accolade since 2004, when the Asian Tour was established. Korea’s Seungyul Noh was 19 years old when he won the merit title in 2010.
- By finishing on top of the Order of Merit, Green has earned a five-year exemption on the Asian Tour and spots at next year’s The Open as well as the WGC-Mexico Championship.
- He will also get to represent Team Asia at the upcoming EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM, to be contested at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in January 2018.
- Justin Rose is the 2016 Olympics Gold medallist. One of the highlights of his storied career is his 2013 U.S. Open victory at Merion Golf Club.
- This year, he narrowly missed out on the Masters Tournament title after losing to Sergio Garcia in sudden-death playoff.
- George Gandranata finished tied-68 at last year’s Indonesian Masters
- Brandt Snedeker is making his maiden visit to Indonesia. The American has been battling an injury for most of the season and was undergoing treatment for a lingering sternum injury that led to him missing the FedEx Cup playoffs and the year’s final two Majors.
- Snedeker is best known for winning the 2012 FedEx Cup with a victory in the season-ending Tour Championship.
- His most recent wins came last year in the Farmers Insurance Open on the US PGA Tour and the Fiji International on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
- Snedeker has also competed in two Ryder Cups, including playing for the Americans when they triumphed last year.
- He has come close to claiming a Major on several occasions most notably when he tied for 3rd in the 2008 US Masters and the 2012 Open Championship.
- The Indonesian Masters is the third leg of the Panasonic Swing, which is an aggregate points race that spans five events – in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, and Japan – where Asian Tour players can earn a share of a lucrative bonus pool.
- The Indonesian Masters is the last event of the year on any main Tour worldwide with significant OWGR points.
- Apart from a minimum of 20 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, the winner of the Indonesian Masters will also receive an invitation to play at the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational in 2018.