Hend takes lead without late show

Fri 04 Oct 2013

Hend takes lead without late show

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Tamsui, Chinese Taipei, October 4: Australia’s Scott Hend shrugged off his ‘comeback king’ tag as he believes he can mount a serious challenge even as he holds the second round lead with an even-par 72 at the US$600,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters on Friday.
Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun returned with a 70 to stay two shots back of Hend who compiled a two-day total of three-under-par 141 at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club.
All of Hend’s three wins on the Asian Tour were from come-behinds as he stormed from five back to win his maiden title in Indonesia in 2008 and was four behind when he won his second title in Singapore last season.
The Australian’s third victory on the region’s premier Tour this year was also won in similar fashion where he charged back from six shots to win again in Thailand.
While he is in unfamiliar position atop the leaderboard at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters this week, Hend is unfazed by his reputation as he believes it is his ability to do well that counts.
“It doesn’t really matter if I’m known as the comeback king or not. If you can play good golf, you can win from the front. You just got to believe in yourself and go and have a crack at it,” said Hend.
The 40-year-old was left to rue several costly putts as he marked his outward-nine with a 35, highlighted by three birdies and one bogey.
He parred the next eight holes coming home before dropping another shot on the closing par-four ninth.
“Wind conditions are very calm for here but I thought the greens conditions were a little worse than yesterday and difficult to putt on,” said Hend.
While his short game might have deserted him on a day where course conditions were much benign, Hend believes he can extend his lead once he starts to gain an upper-hand on his short game.
“It’s a good position to be in heading into the weekend even though I didn’t hole any putts today. I’ll have a better advantage once I start holing those putts,” said Hend.
Baek continued where he left off last year by hauling himself back into contention at the richest Asian Tour event to be staged in Chinese Taipei this season.
The 23-year-old Korean was well placed to clinch the title until a closing 78 saw him finish in eighth place last year. He is looking for better fortunes this time around.
“I’m getting there and I just need to control my nerves and stay calm. If I can do that, I have a good chance,” said Baek, who is ranked fifth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
The Mercuries Taiwan Masters is the last chance for players to break into the top-10 and secure their place in the lucrative CIMB Classic in Malaysia later this month.
It is also the penultimate event for leading players on the Order of Merit vying for a place in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.
Ends.
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.