PETALING JAYA: Gavin Kyle Green (pic) cannot rest on his laurels yet despite leading the Asian Tour Order of Merit standings by US$106,000 (RM445,000) with five more events left.
The 23-year-old pocketed US$24,800 (RM104,000) after finishing joint seventh at the Resorts World Manila Masters on Sunday to take his season earnings to US$567,336 (RM2.38mil).
American David Lipsky is second with US$133,307 (RM559,000) while Australian Scott Hend is third with US$434,029 (RM1.82mil).
Lipsky and Hend did not feature in Manila due their European Tour commitments but will be back in action on the Asian Tour next week when they compete in the US$2mil (RM8.4mil) Hong Kong Open.
But it’s not just Lipsky and Hend that Gavin has to be wary of. The Malaysian will also have be cautious of the threat posed by India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia and Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai, who both played well in Manila.
Indian Open champion Chawrasia bagged US$17,600 (RM73,800) after finishing joint 10th to remain fourth in the money list with US$378,378 (RM1.59mil).
Phachara was third in Manila to earn US$56,500 (RM237,000) and move one spot to fifth in the Order of Merit with US$358,352 (RM1.5mil).
“Last week definitely helped strengthen my lead in the Order of Merit but Phachara and Chawrasia have closed the gap a little bit after Manila,” admitted Gavin.
“There are still a few more events coming up, so I have to do well and finish strongly in them. I’m looking forward to the Hong Kong stop.”
The Order of Merit race is set to go down to the wire as the five remaining events offers a total purse of more than US$5mil.
Besides Hong Kong, the other four stops are the US$1.07mil (RM4.49mil) Mauritius Open; US$350,000 (RM1.47mil) Asian Golf Championships in China; US$1.2mil (RM5.03mil) Joburg Open in South Africa; and US$750,000 (RM 3.14mil) Indonesian Masters.
The other three Malaysian Asian Tour members — Nicholas Fung (US$150,992, RM633,000), Ben Leong (US$91,531, RM384,000) and (US$75,055, RM315,000) — are placed 24th, 40th and 46th respectively.