Golf: Target missed – but the grass gets greener for Gavin

PETALING JAYA: Gavin Kyle Green may have failed to accomplish his two-pronged mission in his second European Tour campaign, but the national No. 1 golfer can certainly take plenty of positives from a solid season.

The 25-year-old had set his sights on a maiden European Tour victory and a top-30 finish in the Race to Dubai standings – but fulfilled neither.

His best outing was a fifth placing at the Belgian Knockout in June, and he finished 69th overall in the standings.

However, it was good enough to keep his playing privileges for the third season running. Only the top 115 players get to keep their Tour card.

Gavin could have had a better end to the season if he had qualified for the DP World Tour Championship which tees off tomorrow in Dubai.

The US$8mil (RM33.29mil) season-finale features only the top-50 players in the Race to Dubai rankings.

Gavin came up short at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa last week, finishing tied 21st. He needed a top-five finish to crack the top-50.

Gavin believes the outcome could have been different had he done better in the Turkish Airlines Open the week before. He could only muster a joint 50th finish in his penultimate tournament.

“I was a little disappointed at not making it to the season-ending tournament. I didn’t play well enough in Turkey and I think that made Dubai an uphill battle, ” lamented Gavin.

“Nedbank was good and I played well but it was a tough course and the conditions were not easy.”

Gavin will now head into the new season, which starts next week with the Hong Kong Open, with renewed optimism looking to build on the improvements made in his second season.

Gavin has reason to be positive after his second season stats. Apart from bettering his Race to Dubai position from 84th to 69th, Gavin has also finished no worse than top-40 in 14 the 27 tournaments played.

Besides the Belgian Knockout, he also claimed two top more top 10 finishes – a tied-eighth at the Andalucia Masters and a tied-ninth at the Irish Open.

Last season, Gavin managed only eight top-40 finishes in 30 appearances.

Gavin’s consistent results also paid off handsomely. He collected a whopping €605,327 (RM2.79mil) in prize money, a significant rise from €466,998 (RM2.15mil) he earned last year.

Gavin is also hitting it a lot better on the course as he was able to bring down his stroke average from 71.53 to 70.64 this year.

“I’m quite pleased with my season overall. The end was a little shaky as I was pushing to make it to Dubai but it just serves as a learning curve for me, ” said Gavin.

“Golf requires patience and as long as I continue to play the next ball better, it will be fine.”

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