Hend ready to make history #QueensCup

Wed 14 Jun 2017

Hend ready to make history #QueensCup

[button link="http://www.asiantour.com/tournaments/616/teetimes/?round=1" size="small" target="_blank" icon="cog" color="blue, alternative-1" ]Tee Times-Rd 1[/button][button link="http://www.asiantour.com/2017/06/14/queenscup-what-they-said-2/" size="small" target="_blank" icon="cog" color="blue, alternative-1" ]Preview What They Said[/button]
Koh Samui, Thailand, June 14: Title holder Scott Hend of Australia is aiming to become the first player to successfully defend the Queen’s Cup when the US$500,000 Asian Tour event starts on Thursday.
Long-hitting Hend, who is the reigning Asian Tour number one, will shoot for his 10th victory on the region’s premier Tour against a stellar line-up which includes eight of the top-10 players from the Order of Merit.
SSP Chawrasia SSP Chawrasia
India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia, currently second on the Merit list, is amongst the top contenders assembled at Santiburi Samui Country Club, nicknamed the Beast of Samui, where he has an opportunity to take over top spot on the rankings. He needs to finish no lower than tied second with another golfer to dislodge American David Lipsky.
The Thai challenge will be carried by young rising stars Phachara Khongwatmai, Rattanon Wannasrichan and Jazz Janewattananond while veterans Prayad Marksaeng and Thaworn Wiratchant, who have each won the Queen’s Cup twice from between 2012 to 2015, will be ready to throw in their challenge at the par-71 venue which rewards straight shooting from the tee and a calm head on the shoulders.
Phachara, 18, is keen to emulate Jazz and Rattanon, who claimed their maiden Asian Tour victories this season in Bashundhara Bangladesh Open and the Thailand Open respectively.
With two runner-up finishes under his belt in what is turning out to be a breakout season, talented Malaysian prospect Gavin Green will be keen to celebrate a maiden Asian Tour title on the holiday isle of Samui weeks after fine-tuning his game with his coach in the United States.
The Queen’s Cup is celebrating its ninth edition this week with a record prize fund and is the 10th leg of the 2017 Asian Tour season. The tournament is supported by Bangkok Airways and Sports Authority of Thailand.
Fast Facts

  • After missing three straight cuts from between March to April, Hend has regained his form with a tied sixth finish at the recent Thailand Open being his best outing this season.

  • Hend won the Queen’s Cup by one shot on 15-under-par 269 last year, the second lowest score in the tournament’s history. He shot rounds of 69, 69, 64 and 67. It was his second win of 2016 which enabled him to become the first Aussie to lift the prestigious Order of Merit crown.

  • With nine career victories, Hend is the most successful international golfer on the Asian Tour and is the first Australian to win the Order of Merit with over US$1 million in earnings last season.

  • Chawrasia successfully defended his Hero Indian Open title by seven shots in March for his sixth Asian Tour victory which helped move him up to second place on the Merit list with US$304,500.

  • Chawrasia finished equal sixth in the Queen’s Cup in 2015. He was also tied eighth at Santiburi Samui in the 2006 Bangkok Airways Open. His lowest round here is 67 shot in 2015. He also finished tied 30th at the Nordea Masters in Sweden two weeks ago.

  • Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand
    Phachara is currently third on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, thanks to runner-up finishes at the SMBC Singapore Open and ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth.

  • Phachara has played in the Queen’s Cup on three previous occasions, missing the halfway cut twice. He finished tied 27th at the Lyoness Open last week, closing with a 67 which should put him in good stead for this week.

  • Green has also enjoyed two runner-up finishes this year at the Hero Indian Open and Yeangder Heritage in Chinese Taipei. He was tied 10th in his last tournament appearance at the Thailand Open.

  • The 23-year-old Green finished tied 33rd in his lone Queen’s Cup appearance in 2015. 

"It’ll be the same attitude as last year, play what’s in front of you and try to judge the wind well. This golf course is always tricky. However, I’ve proved last year that I can win on a tricky golf course." - Scott Hend

Player Quotes
Scott Hend (Aus)
It’ll be the same attitude as last year, play what’s in front of you and try to judge the wind well. This golf course is always tricky. However, I’ve proved last year that I can win on a tricky golf course.
Any golf course fits my game if I’m on top of myself that week. Around here, it’s hard to beat the local players as they know the golf course inside out. So for a foreigner to win is quite pleasing in that regards.
I haven’t swung a club for the past 10 days. I might hit some shanks in the pro-am later but hopefully I’ll be alright when I start tomorrow. I’ve started to play a lot better. My bag is now set up in terms of club wise. I had driver problems in the first three or four months as manufacturers change drivers and I couldn’t find one that suits me. I finally found something which I can get in play and it now just comes down to trying to get some confidence back in the game.
SSP Chawrasia (Ind)
This is a very nice place. I’ve played here the past few years and it’s a great place to be, with the beach and nice hotels. I like the golf course, so mentally I’m always refreshed.  I’m not thinking about myself being the highest ranked player in the field. I’m just here to play the golf tournament and play my own game. If I started thinking too much, it’ll create the additional pressure on me.
This course fits my style of play. However, it’s very tricky and tough. The tee shot is going to be very important. It’s very tight on every single hole. You just have to hit it straight. When I first started on the Asian Tour in 2006, I think I finished eighth here (Bangkok Airways Open). I seem to play good here all the time, so I’m looking forward to it.
Obviously I’m thinking about the Order of Merit. I’m about US$30,000 behind David Lipsky and I’m here to try and catch him. That’s the main reason why I’m here. I’ve got a full chance to win the Order of Merit and I’ve planned my schedule to play a few more Asian Tour events in the second half of the season. After Switzerland, I’m going to play in Korea, Japan and Malaysia. It’s very important for me. If I can win the Order of Merit, obviously I will be very happy as a lot of top Indians have done it in the past. I want to give myself a chance as well to win it.
Gavin Green Gavin Green
Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha)
I’m not thinking about getting a win. I’m just going to try to play my best golf. This is a big tournament for all of us. On this course, if you don’t hit it straight, you will get a bad score. Hit a bad shot, you’re dead. I really like this course as it’s challenging. I’ll be using a lot of long irons this week. My driving is also getting better, so I’m feeling good about the week.
I played in three European Tour events the past few months. I enjoyed the experience and every course is challenging due to the weather and course conditions. It’s different from the conditions in Asia which is good as it helps me to learn and become a better golfer.
The Queen’s Cup is very important to all Thai golfers. Every Thai golfer wants to win the tournament as it’s a tournament for the queen. But it won’t be easy to win it. It is also very good for all players that the prize money has increased to US$500,000 this year.
My dream is to try to get one win on the Asian Tour this season. But if I don’t do it, it’s not a problem as I’ve already enjoyed two second place finishes. I’m not going to push it. This week, maybe I’ll have a chance.
Gavin Green (Mas)
The second place finish in the Hero Indian Open and Yeangder Heritage, plus the top-10 in Thailand have made me believe that I can do it. Don’t get me wrong as there are a lot of really good players out here, so you’ve got to go low regularly and be consistent to be up there every single week.
Since my dad (Gary) has been with me as my caddie, we’ve had one win on the ADT and we’ve had the good results this year. He’s been there, he’s been good and he’s also trying to get better as a caddie. At the start of it, we had to go through a few bumps which have all turned out for the better.
It’s fun this week. We’ve got a house with a pool that is quite close to the course. Mum and Galven (his brother) are also here, so we’re having a good time. It really helps. It’s the first time we’re actually doing this. It feels like we’re on a holiday which is nice.
About 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), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics)  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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