Macau Rewind: Hand it to Hend

Tue 21 Oct 2014

Macau Rewind: Hand it to Hend

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Macau, October 21: The Asian Tour is back at the Venetian Macau Open this week, which offers a record US$900,000. Top stars include Ernie Els, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Thongchai Jaidee, Liang Wen-chong, Anirban Lahiri, David Lipsky and title holder Scott Hend. Asiantour.com looks back at the 2013 Venetian Macau Open.
Ernie Els was the big star at the Venetian Macau Open but the week truly belonged to big-hitter Scott Hend.
A poor opening round of three-over-par 74 wasn’t the ideal start for Aussie ace Hend but you can never really keep a good player down as he bounced back with such class and ferocity with rounds of 64, 63 and 67 to win a third title of the season.
It marked another lucrative week for Hend, who had been victorious in Chiangmai and Taipei previously, as he held off four-time Major champion Els and a fast-finishing Anirban Lahiri to pocket the US$144,000 champion’s cheque.
“It's important to win again, for the third time, it feels good. Thursday was a difficult day, mentally and physically. Then on Friday and Saturday, I started holing putts which I haven’t done the whole year even when I won a couple of weeks ago. I’ve holed my fair share this week,” said Hend, who averaged 26.5 putts for the tournament.
The putter proved to be a magic wand as everything it touched turned to birdies for Hend who totaled 16-under-par 268 for the week.
Victory proved to be especially sweet as he went head-to-head with Els over three rounds at the stunning Macau Golf and Country Club before prevailing by four from Lahiri, who closed with a course-record equaling 62. Els shared third with Filipino Elmer Salvador.
Ernie Els of South Africa Ernie Els of South Africa
“Ernie is one of the best players in the world. I had my own goals and targets and I achieved my goal which was to stay patient, patient, patient. In the first four holes, I didn’t make any birdie. Ernie started to put some heat on me and all of the sudden, I hit a great shot on the fifth for birdie there. It was all about being patient,” said Hend.
“Three wins in a year is definitely the best golf of my career,” added the Aussie, whose victory was his fifth of his career on the Asian Tour.
Hend did reveal the secret to his amazing success in 2013, saying it was all down to hard work with his caddie and former Tour player, Tony Carolan. “I'm just working hard. I'm not going to tell you exactly what it is because anyone else finds out what I'm doing, I won't be winning,” he said laughing.
The 26-year-old Lahiri charged up the leaderboard with one eagle and eight birdies as he tied countryman Amandeep Johl’s course mark set in 2004.  The Indian star got to within two shots of Hend during the final round but had to settle for runner-up place.
“I got off to a great start, holed a 30-footer on the first hole. I played really good right from the start. Yesterday was a similar story but I ran into some trouble on the back nine. I’m glad I kept my cool and played solid in the end,” said Lahiri.
Els, who celebrated his 44th birthday in the first round, applied the pressure early on with birdies on two, three and six but a bogey on nine halted his momentum. “It was very frustrating. I couldn’t afford any mistakes. I needed to keep the pedal on the metal but I made that mistake and I didn’t play the back nine. Tough weekend but I think Scott was very strong,” said Els, who was making his debut at the Venetian Macau Open.
About the Macau Golf and Country Club
Opened in 1993, the Macau Golf and Country Club is one of the oldest established golf clubs in Southern China and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013. The Club has been meticulously planned to combine a resort ambience with an 18-hole Championship golf course, superb amenities, excellent food, and an array of activities.
The golf club has developed a reputation as one of the most beautiful courses to play in the region with stunning views of the South China seas and quiet, peaceful surroundings. The golf course is enjoyable with every hole presenting a fresh golfing experience.
Macau Golf and Country Club has hosted the prestigious Macau Open since 1998 with such legendary players as Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomery, John Daly, Nick Price, Padraig Harrington and China favourite Zhang Lian-wei who has won the event twice.