Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), in its efforts to develop golfing talent in Asean, has extended its three-year sponsorship of Gavin Kyle Green (picture), the newly crowned Asian No 1 in the 2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit, for another three years.
Green, who turned professional in 2015, took the top spot following his maiden victory at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters last October, and finished runner-up thrice. The 24-year-old is now the second-youngest golfer to win the accolade of Order of Merit champion on the Asian Tour.
Maybank group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, in making the announcement, said it was more than a decade ago that the decision was made to focus the effort towards identifying, training and nurturing the best golfing talents in Asean.
The effort was bearing fruit with new and upcoming golfers from Malaysia and the region “making waves at an international level”.
Green was proof of the effectiveness of the programme, making Maybank the first financial institution in Malaysia to champion the structured long-term development of golf in Malaysia and across the Asean region, beginning its support in 2006.
This included direct sponsorship of selected players; creating playing platforms for Malaysian and Asean talent to experience internat ional tournaments; monetary support through the prize purses sponsored; and the creating, maintaining and promoting the Maybank Championship that allows aspiring players the perfect platform to springboard to international success right here in Malaysia.
Apart from Green, Maybank had previously sponsored local professional golfers Danny Chia and Shaaban Hussin.
In 2014, Green became the first amateur to win the Asian Development Tour, and went on to represent Malaysia at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“It is truly an exceptional honour to continue my longstanding partnership with Maybank as its Asean ambassador in the game of golf.
“Maybank and the Maybank Championship has definitely opened up many doors for me throughout my career as it is a great platform for me to meet other world class players and represent our beautiful country, Malaysia,” said Green.
Best Playing Platform
OTHER than Gavin, the other Malaysians in the fray are: Ben Leong, Danny Chia, Shahriffuddin Ariffin and R Nachimuthu, who qualified on their own merit through the Asian Tour, and 10 spots to those who qualified through the Professional Golf of Malaysia Order of Merit.
They are: Arie Irawan Ahmad Fauzi, Sukree Othman, Khor Kheng Hwai, Kemarol Baharin Kemarol Huda, Airil Rizman Zahari, Amir Nazrin, Muhd Wafiyuddin Abdul Manaf and M Sasidaran. Galven Kendall Green, the amateur, completes the list.
Maybank, thus, furthers its intention to provide “a significant platform for players looking to gain valuable experience and Official World Golf Ranking points”.
The names were endorsed by the Sports Commissioner of Malaysia and supported by professional golfing bodies in the region.