GOLF NEWS - Young Malaysian Gavin Green gave his ambition to join US PGA Tour a huge boost on Thursday as he shot a first-round 66 to be tied second in the CJ Cup.
Green is three shots adrift of leader Justin Thomas but one of five players on six-under alongside the American trio of Chez Reavie, Scott Brown and Patrick Reed, and Australia's Marc Leishman.
In only his fifth start in a US PGA Tour event, Green gave the elite 78-man field competing for $9.25 million in the inaugural event in South Korea a taste of his burgeoning talent.
Only the red-hot world No 4 Thomas was able to shoot a lower score than the man from Kuala Lumpur, who got off to a fast start and reached the turn in five-under 31.
"Made some putts and suddenly was a couple under and kept it going," Green told AFP. "It was a pretty solid round."
Currently leading the Asian Tour's Order of Merit, Green ultimately wants to become the first player from Malaysia to secure a US tour card.
A victory either this week in Korea or next week at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai would do the trick.
"I've always wanted to be on the PGA Tour, that's my goal," Green said. Hopefully something good happens in the next couple of weeks."
Green is no stranger to the US after a strong college career representing the University of New Mexico, where he won eight times and was a multiple All-American.
The 23-year-old is part of a group of outstanding former US college players dubbed the "Class of 2011" which includes three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, 24, US PGA Champion Thomas, 23, and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele, 23.
Green, who played in the same college conference as Schauffele, had been so disappointed with finishing tied 61st on home soil at the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic last week that he changed his putter.