Tamsui, Chinese Taipei, October 6: Australia’s Scott Hend gave a lesson on how to master the treacherous conditions when he posted a two-over-par 74 to win the US$600,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club on Sunday.
Faced with the onslaught of Typhoon Fitow where torrential rain and gusty winds up to 55mph posed the greatest threat for players, Hend relied on his experience of playing in Scotland last week to lift his fourth Asian Tour title with a winning total of three-under-285.
Sam Cyr of the United States enjoyed his best result on the Asian Tour this season with a second placed finish after battling to a 77 while Bangladesh’s Siddikur and Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij shared third place on matching 291 at the richest Asian Tour event to be staged in Chinese Taipei this season.
Unlike his previous victories which were all from come-behinds, there was no need for Hend to surmount a late challenge this week.
Instead, it was Hend’s mental strength and Scottish experience that saw him preserving his lead and clinch a decisive four-shot victory from the front for the first time on the Asian Tour.
“It’s nice to win from the front instead of always coming from behind. To be able to win this tournament was always a tough mental challenge especially under those conditions we had this week,” said Hend, who took home the winner’s prize cheque of US$120,000.
Having been exposed to the elements in Scotland last week, the 40-year-old felt he had already gained the upper-hand when he arrived in Chinese Taipei.
“I got my wish when I saw how windy it was out here. It worked to my favour as I played in Scotland last week and I was mentally prepared,” said Hend.
“I wanted the wind to blow but I didn’t want it to blow that hard. I thought if the wind blows, it’ll be hard for somebody to shoot in the low 60s and try to catch me. The only problem was for me not to shoot high 70s,” laughed Hend, who posted rounds of 69, 72, 70 and 74.
Cyr was left to wait longer for his career breakthrough on the region’s premier Tour, but gave a timely reminder of his precocious talent with his best finish on the Tour so far.
“It was a good week as I did a lot of good things and hit a lot of great shots. I just made a couple of mistakes in my front-nine and I could have easily let it slip away from me but I hung in there,” said Cyr, who reached the turn in 41, marred by a triple-bogey, a double-bogey, one bogey and a birdie.
The American gave a better account of himself in his inward-nine when he mixed two bogeys against two birdies to close with a 289.
“This is my best finish on the Asian Tour and it definitely feels good to have a good result and to be able to play well for four days,” said Cyr.
Arnond meanwhile put up a brave act under extreme testing conditions but was blown off course by the weather elements.
“I got off to a really terrible start with three bogeys in the first three holes but rallied back with four birdies. I got myself into a good position but the conditions on the back-nine were simply impossible. I tried to hang on to as long as I could and I was quite disappointed that the last putt didn’t go in,” said Arnond.
“I wanted to get at least a second place to give myself a chance to make it into the CIMB Classic but it was still a good finish and I take all the positives,” added the Thai.
Despite closing with a 77, Siddikur was delighted to claim his place at the lucrative CIMB Classic with his result at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters, which was last qualifying event for players to break into the top-10 on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
It was also the penultimate event for leading players on the merit list vying for a place in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.
“It was a great week especially playing under such tough conditions. I’m not disappointed even though I didn’t played that well today. Only Thaworn broke par today and that says a lot about the conditions out there,” said Siddikur
Selected scores after round 4 of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters 2013 being played at the par 72, 6923 Yards Tamsui Course course (a- denotes amateur):
285 – Scott HEND (AUS) 69-72-70-74.
289 – Sam CYR (USA) 70-69-73-77.
291 – Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA) 75-73-70-73, SIDDIKUR (BAN) 72-71-71-77.
293 – Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 72-70-72-79.
294 – LU Wen-teh (TPE) 73-75-72-74, BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 73-70-74-77.
295 – Matthew STIEGER (AUS) 74-71-74-76, Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) 72-76-70-77.
296 – Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 72-75-78-71, Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 76-70-73-77.
297 – Elmer SALVADOR (PHI) 73-74-76-74, Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 71-78-74-74, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 75-72-75-75, Gunn CHAROENKUL (THA) 75-73-73-76.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.