Get to know the players that have earned their spot in the Maybank Championship 2018 at Saujana Golf & Country Club.
One of the most successful amateurs and juniors of Malaysia, Gavin Kyle Green played college golf at the University of New Mexico where he won eight times and was a multiple-time All-American and Mountain West Conference golfer of the year. Green is a three-time winner on the Asian Development Tour. Green qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics and finished in 47th place. Green turned professional in 2015 and has won 3 times since.
Enjoyed the finest moment of his career when he won the Masters in 2016, a week after the birth of his son, Zachariah. Produced an impressively gutsy finish at Augusta National to take advantage of Jordan Spieth’s late collapse and become the first Englishman to don the Green Jacket for 20 years. Finished the season ranked second in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, finishing runner up at the Italian Open and third at the BMW PGA Championship to boost his points total. Emerged as a world-beater in 2015, when he won the first tournament of the season, the lucrative Nedbank Golf Challenge, and pushed Rory McIlroy all the way in the Race to Dubai after also winning the Omega European Masters in August, holding off fellow Yorkshireman Matt Fitzpatrick in Switzerland. Carried his best form into 2016 to claim the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February, holing a brilliant birdie putt on the last to triumph by one, and soon after took third place in the WGC-Cadillac Championship to hint at what was to come at the Masters a month later. Made his European Tour breakthrough at the 2012 BMW International Open, where he beat Marcus Fraser in a play-off at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof in Cologne, Germany. The son of a preacher enjoyed a stunning amateur career, winning the English Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s after being crowned Yorkshire Amateur Champion in 2007, before going on to play in the Walker Cup and become number one amateur in Europe. Earned his 2009 playing rights after cruising through all three stages of the Qualifying School. Currently coached by Graham Walker, who was previously named in Golf Monthly’s Top 25 Coaches.
Kiradech is one of the most exciting young players to emerge from Thailand. In 2013, he defeated a host of stars including Major winners Charl Schwartzel and Padraig Harrington to win the Maybank Malaysian Open, his first European Tour title. He went on to eclipse some of the PGA Tour biggest stars at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia by finishing third.
After turning pro in 2008, he won his maiden Asian Tour title in 2011 – the SAIL Open in India – that saw him falling to his knees after the last putt and wept tears of joy. Just before his career breakthrough victory, he won the Singha Pattaya Open on the Mercedes-Benz Tour by a whopping 11 shots.
The Thai ended the 2013 season as the Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, thanks to one victory and five other top-five finishes. He also became the second golfer after Jeev Milkha Singh to earn over US$1 million in a single season.
With 7 European Tour and 13 Asian Tour titles under his belt, Thongchai is regarded as one of Asia’s greatest players and was named Player of the Decade (2004-2013) by fellow professionals. In 2004, he made history as the first Thai golfer to win an event on the European Tour with victory in the Malaysian Open, and then successfully defended the title the following year.
The Thai proved to the world that he could also win on European soil by winning the ISPS Handa Wales Open in 2012. Then came the rush of titles; the 2014 Nordea Masters and the 2015 Porsche European Open. He was a playing captain at the inaugural EurAsia Cup in 2014 and help Asia stage an amazing comeback on the final day by beating Graeme McDowell in the singles.
Thongchai was the first player to break the US$2 million barrier in career earnings on the Asian Tour and, on making his Masters debut in 2006, became the first Thai to compete in all four Majors.
Born Daniel John Willett, Danny turned professional in 2008 and is currently ranked #19 in the Official World Golf Rankings as of January 7, 2016. The Englishman claimed his first European win at the 2012 BMW International Open, where he beat Marcus Fraser in a play-off at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof in Cologne, Germany.
Danny’s debut season in the European Tour saw him finish 58th on the 2009 Race to Dubai thanks to 8 top ten finishes. Since then, he finished 23rd in 2010 coupled with a string of achievements that include a 5th place at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, a 2nd place finish in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and a 3rd place finish in the Austrian Open.
Currently ranked number 44 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Fitzpatrick is one of the most sought-after rising stars in the world of golf. As an amateur, he clinched the 2013 US Amateur Championship and was ranked number one in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Having turned professional in 2014, Fitzpatrick won the British Masters supported by Sky Sports in 2015 and achieved another nine top ten finishes, including second place in the Omega European Masters.