Malaysia’s Gavin Green endured a nervous finish but his challenge will continue into the weekend as he carded a two-over-par 73 to make the cut on the number in his Major debut at The Open on Friday.
Green, who opened his campaign with a 72, turned in level par before dropping a bogey on 10. He recovered with a birdie on 14 but two other bogeys in his closing four holes saw him settle for a share of tied-65th position on three-over-par 145 total at the Carnoustie Golf Links.
The 24-year-old Green became the second Malaysian, following Danny Chia in 2010, to make the halfway cut in the world’s oldest Major championship. Chia came in tied-55th in what was his third attempt that year.
“I was really nervous coming down the stretch. The last few holes were tough. I was just trying to keep it on the fairways and the greens. I did that all the way till 18 and had like a 15 to 20 foot for par. I was trying to find out what the cut was. Thankfully it was three-over and I made the bogey putt.
“Making the cut in my first Major, obviously I am really happy. I am happy with the way I coped with myself. I kind of know what to do and I knew I can’t push it too much. It’s been a long time since I last felt so nervous coming down the stretch but I liked the challenge,” said Green.
Green sealed his place in the year’s third Major by winning the Asian Tour Order of Merit crown last year, where he claimed one victory and five top-10 finishes.
He is the first Malaysian and the second youngest player, following a then 19-year-old Noh Seung-yul of Korea in 2010, to achieve the feat on the region’s premier Tour.
“My first expectation is to make the cut but now I will try to go as low as possible over the weekend. It’s pretty scorable if you’re on the fairways but if you’re not, it will punish you quite bad so it’s very important to keep to the same game plan and hopefully make more putts.
“I like links course. It’s a different style of play. I think it’s fairer. You have to be creative when you play on links course. You can’t just see the hole and hit it, you might land 40 or 50 yards short,” added Green, who enjoyed a tied-19th place finish at the Scottish Open last week.
Like Green, Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand also made the cut on the number after battling to a 71. The big-hitting Thai will head to the weekend rounds for the first time after missing the mark in his last four attempts.
South African Shaun Norris, young Indian talent Shubhankar Sharma, Japan’s Yuta Ikeda and Masahiro Kawamura will continue to spearhead the Asian Tour challenge in the final two rounds at The 147th Open at Carnoustie.