In-form Hend takes over Merit lead

Mon 05 Sep 2016

In-form Hend takes over Merit lead

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Sentosa, Singapore, September 5: Australian Scott Hend has powered his way to the top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit following a runner-up finish at the Omega European Masters over the weekend.
The big-hitting Aussie was denied a third Asian Tour win of the season by Sweden’s Alex Noren but his fine performance at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club meant he replaced countryman Marcus Fraser in pole position in the race for the Merit crown with earnings of US$714,112.
Marcus Fraser of Australia Marcus Fraser of Australia
Hend’s noteworthy finish in Switzerland was worth US$337,230, enough to consign Fraser to second place as he came in tied-36th at the Swiss showpiece, the only tournament in Europe sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
This was the first time since his victory at the Maybank Championship Malaysia in February that Fraser, who has earned US$658,203 this season, had relinquished his Merit lead.
Korea’s Jeunghun Wang, who did not play in Switzerland, remained in third place on the rankings with US$484,386 while Filipino Miguel Tabuena stayed in fourth position on US$354,176 after missing the halfway cut.
Hend, who is a nine-time Asian Tour champion and the most successful international golfer in the region, tipped his hat to his rival who holed a long birdie putt in extra time for the victory.
“I think Alex played the 18th hole way better than I did and made an awesome birdie for a deserving win. He played fantastic golf but I didn’t play quite well enough. That’s golf. You can’t complain when you get into position to win but somebody makes a great birdie on the play-off hole to win,” said Hend.
2016 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open: Day 4Since joining the Asian Tour in 2007 after a hand injury curtailed his career in America, Hend has proven to be very successful in the region. He holds the most titles for an international golfer and has finished second on the Order of Merit twice in the last three seasons and fourth on three other occasions.
Hend, who represented Australia in the recent Olympic Games, won the True Thailand Classic presented by PTT and Queen’s Cup, also in Thailand, in the first half of the year and his season’s earnings is already a career-best for him in Asia.
India’s Rashid Khan, meanwhile, moved inside the top-30 of the Order of Merit for the first time this season after finishing tied for 41st. Khan’s performance allowed him to learn more about himself and the various aspects needed to improve his game.
“There are a lot of positive things to take out of this week. I made the cut after a long time and I know what I need to improve on,” he said.
“I need to take a little bit more time before I hit a shot. I do it too quickly now and I’m missing on the wrong side,” added the two-time Asian Tour winner.
The Asian Tour will take a two-week break before heading to the Land of the Rising Sun for the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup from September 22 to 25.
Miguel Tabuena of Philippines Miguel Tabuena of Philippines
ASIAN TOUR ORDER OF MERIT – TOP-20
Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)
1. Scott HEND (AUS) $714,112
2. Marcus FRASER (AUS) $658,203
3. Jeunghun WANG (KOR) $484,386
4. Miguel TABUENA (PHI) $354,176
5. Soomin LEE (KOR) $340,840
6. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) $316,017
7. Yuta IKEDA (JPN) $282,956
8. Younghan SONG (KOR) $224,772
9. Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) $202,080
10. Shaun NORRIS (RSA) $167,868
11. K.T. KIM   (KOR) $161,349
12. Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) $154,745
13. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) $153,920
14. CHAN Shih-chang (TPE) $149,453
15. Rahil GANGJEE (IND) $144,618
16. Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) $140,545
17. Carlos PIGEM (ESP) $136,891
18. Angelo QUE (PHI) $123,930.20
19. Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) $119,753
20. Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) $118,102
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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