Stars to watch in 2017: Scott Hend

Sentosa, Singapore, January 11: There are so many ways to describe Scott Hend. Long-hitting, powerful, astute, gung-ho and straight-talking are just a few.

From this year onwards, add Asian Tour No. 1 to his praise.

Since joining the Asian Tour in 2007, the 43-year-old has emerged as the most successful international golfer in the region following nine career victories. Since 2012, Hend has been the hottest golfer where he has won eight times, more than the likes of Thongchai Jaidee, Anirban Lahiri or Thaworn Wiratchant.

Hend was superb in 2016, winning the True Thailand Classic and Queen’s Cup which helped him become the first Aussie to win the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown. With US$1.004 million in earnings, he also became only the fourth golfer to surpass US$1 million in earnings in a single season on the Asian Tour.

What was equally eye-catching was his performances in Europe. He contended in several big events in Wentworth and Crans

Scott Hend of Australia

Scott Hend of Australia

Montana but failed to get across the finish line. While he would have kicked himself at throwing away those winning opportunities, it is those sort of experiences which would help him win more titles in 2017.

Despite approaching his mid-40s, Hend is certainly capable of holding his own against the young guns. The Florida-based golfer is proving to be like fine wine where he gets better with age.

Following a serious hand injury in 2006 which cut short his career in America, Hend has largely been injury free despite the amount of golf that he plays every year. He has certainly

Clocked the most air miles than anyone else on Tour – he played in 34 tournaments in 28 different countries last season – but it seems to enable him to play well.

While his distance is a key weapon, the master blaster has proven himself to be adept as well on courses which require him to keep his driver in the bag. Wins in Samui and Hong Kong are just prove that they can play smart to triumph.

With the 2017 season upon us, it will be very certain that Hend will go on to bag his 10th Asian Tour title this year, and who knows, perhaps an 11th and 12th too in the next 12 months.

He would also be right on the money to win in Europe with his ability to grind out results when the going gets tough. You can’t find a tougher golfer than Hend on the Asian Tour these days.

2016 Stats
Stroke Average: 69.29 (1st)
Birdie Average: 4.53 (3rd)
Driving Distance: 303.65 (14th)
Putting Average: 1.72 (T16th)
Order of Merit: 1st
Earnings: US$1.004 million
Asian Tour Career Wins: 9