Hend hunts for first OOM crown at UBS #HongKongOpen

Fri 04 Nov 2016

Hend hunts for first OOM crown at UBS #HongKongOpen

Hong Kong, November 4: Australian, Scott Hend will be hoping to put the icing on the cake at next month’s US$2 million UBS Hong Kong Open by sealing the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown in Fanling.
Long-hitting Hend is the frontrunner to become the first Aussie winner of the coveted Merit title in Asia following a season to remember which includes two victories.
A return to the Hong Kong Golf Club from December 8 to 11 will also spur him to chase for a second UBS Hong Kong Open victory following his triumph in 2014.
Thai stars Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat are tipped to challenge Hend and the rest of a stellar field that includes title holder and Olympic Games gold medalist Justin Rose, Masters Tournament winner Danny Willett and Ryder Cup stars Patrick Reed and Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand
The UBS Hong Kong Open, jointly sanctioned by the European Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association, is the season-ending tournament on the Asian Tour and Hend is eager to conclude his 2016 campaign on a high note.
“I'm looking forward to returning to the UBS Hong Kong Open. Going back to Fanling which I've won at previously will be lots of fun and I'm hoping to play my best golf there again to contend for another win.
“I always enjoy playing in Hong Kong as there is such a great buzz around the tournament while the city is always a great place to visit. My season has been memorable with two wins and an appearance at the Olympic Games but I feel I could have won one or two more tournaments if Lady Luck was on my side,” said Hend.
The widely travelled Hend has emerged as the most successful international golfer in the region with nine Asian Tour victories which include two victories in Thailand this year. He also produced six other top-10s around the world and has risen to 63rd on the Official World Golf Ranking.
The US-based Aussie has a US$300,000 plus lead in the race to become the new Asian Tour number one and he is keen to also break into the world’s top-50 before 2016 closes which will earn him a maiden trip to the Masters Tournament next spring.
“As the UBS Hong Kong Open is the final event on the Asian Tour, it would be fantastic for me to produce my best stuff there and seal the Order of Merit title for the first time in my career. It would really cap a great year for me," said Hend, who leads with earnings of US$996,592.
“I've been fortunate enough to win nine times in Asia. On the Order of Merit, I think I finished twice in second position and I finished fourth maybe two or three times. I'm from Australia and I'm very close to Asia, and being able to win the Order of Merit, it's just a goal of mine to achieve.
“I've never played at the Masters and I think it would be a golf course I would be able to play very well around. Obviously like a lot of people, I have seen it on TV every April. I
would like to be there once and walk down the fairways.”
"As the UBS Hong Kong Open is the final event on the Asian Tour, it would be fantastic for me to produce my best stuff there and seal the Order of Merit title for the first time in my career." - Scott Hend.

Kiradech's talent will be on full display as he bids to improve his record in Hong Kong, where he has produced only one top-10 from four visits to Fanling. The 27-year-old is also keen to sign off his season with a victory, having won twice last season.
“The UBS Hong Kong Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments in Asia and it is an event which I would dearly love to win. Some of the names on the trophy is truly impressive and it would be an honour if I could get my name on the trophy too,” said Kiradech, Asia’s number one in 2013.
“My season has been steady with many top-10s but I have not won yet. With the UBS Hong Kong Open being the final tournament on the Asian Tour’s 2016 season, I will fight hard to try and achieve a win against a very strong field.
“Fanling is a wonderful venue and creates a lot of atmosphere and excitement but it can also be quite a tricky golf course to play on. It is certainly a great tournament and place to end our season and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
Veteran star Thongchai, who has not finished lower than 19th position in Hong Kong since 2005, is ready to compete for the UBS Hong Kong Open title. Apart from finishing joint 13th last year, the former paratrooper has achieved six top-10 finishes in Fanling including a tied second outing in 2007. He also won the 100th Open de France earlier this season.
Entry to the first two rounds of this year's tournament on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 December will be free of charge. Those aged under 21 will be admitted free of charge for all four days of the tournament, as the organisers push to introduce the game to wider segments of the Hong Kong community in 2016.
Following the success of the inaugural event last year, the UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup will return on 14 December with local singer and artist, Alan Tam, as Official Ambassador. The HK$2.3 million was raised in 2015 for three local charities, making it the most successful fundraising initiative for the entire European Tour season.
About UBS Group AG
UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. The operational structure of the Group is comprised of our Corporate Center and five business divisions: Wealth Management, Wealth Management Americas, Personal & Corporate Banking, Asset Management and the Investment Bank. UBS's strategy builds on the strengths of all of its businesses and focuses its efforts on areas in which it excels, while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the businesses and regions in which it operates, in order to generate attractive and sustainable returns for its shareholders. All of its businesses are capital-efficient and benefit from a strong competitive position in their targeted markets.
UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in 54 countries, with about 34% of its employees working in the Americas, 35% in Switzerland, 18% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 13% in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs approximately 60,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
About Mega Events Fund
This year the “UBS Hong Kong Open” is sponsored by the Mega Events Fund of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. The Fund was set up in 2009 to support mega arts, cultural, sports and entertainment events to be staged in Hong Kong. With the approval from the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council, the operation of the Fund has been extended for five years until the end of March 2017 with a view to attracting more internationally acclaimed mega events to Hong Kong and reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as the events capital of Asia.
About the Asian Tour
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 ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Sponsor), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official Business Publication Sponsor) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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About The European Tour

The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage. In 2016, the European Tour International Schedule features 47 tournaments in 27 countries, all part of the Race to Dubai, the year-long competition which crowns the European Tour Number One at the end of the season, a title claimed in 2015 by Rory McIlroy for the third time.
Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 25 Members celebrate a total of 51 Major Championship titles between them, enjoyed ten Members attaining the pinnacle of World Number One and has celebrated its diversity as players from 36 different countries have won on Tour. The European Tour also manages the Challenge Tour, which features 28 tournaments in 22 countries in 2016, and the Senior Tour, which features 13 tournaments in nine countries in 2016. It is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup. The European Tour broadcasts live coverage of its tournaments to over 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2200 global broadcast hours for each event. It also enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Emirates and Titleist as Official Partners.