Date: April 02, 2013

Grant Report – Ogilvy to miss Masters

High-profile international Geoff Ogilvy will miss the US Masters for the first time in eight years after he failed to make the cut at the Houston Open.

Ogilvy blundered his way through  a second round seven over par 79, which left him 18 shots off the pace and out of the weekend action.

The Victorian has played in the past seven Masters, never missing a cut. Two years ago he tied for fourth but since then has begun to struggle dramatically with his game.

However there was better news for Australian veteran Scott Hend in Thailand last weekend.

Hend charged from six-shots back to win the inaugural Chiangmai Golf Classic by three shots after a stunning eight-under-par 64 in the final round on Sunday.

Big-hitting Hend earned his third Asian Tour title taking home the winner’s cheque of $US135,000 with a four-day total of 20-under-par 268.

South African newcomer Bryce Easton, playing in his first Asian Tour event, also shot a 64 to take second place while a faltering Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand, who led by five overnight, settled for third on 272 after a day to forget when he soared to a 74 in the US$750,000 full-field Asian Tour tournament.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I had a chance to win,” said the 40-year-old Hend. “I played with Prayad the first two rounds and he was hitting the ball great and putting great. And obviously he played great yesterday again and I thought he would continue with the way he was playing.

“I was just looking for a solid top-five finish. Obviously it all fell together and I played quite well. Unfortunately for the other guys, they didn’t quite keep the pace going which was good for me.”

Despite a bogey on the third, Hend sparked his round at the next hole with a 30-foot eagle, which led to four more birdies over his next five holes.

“From there, I just played pretty solid golf and holed the putts that I missed in the first three days. That was the difference. This win is fantastic. To shoot 20 under helps you believe in yourself that you’ve got the game.”

His two previous wins on the Asian Tour also were come-from-behind victories. He stormed from five back to win the 2008 Indonesian Presidents Invitational and was four behind when he won the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic last season.

“I never had the chance to lead from the front. I would love to lead into the last round by three and see if I can hold the guys off," Hend said.

"But you’ll take anything you can get. To shoot eight under on the Sunday, I’m pretty proud of it,” said Hend, who credited his caddie and former Tour regular Tony Carolan for his triumph.

The 25-year-old Easton, who missed his Asian Tour card by one shot at Qualifying School in January, was nine under for the round through 14 holes but double bogeyed the par three 15th when his tee shot found the lake. He missed a birdie chance at the closing par five 18th and was eventually passed by a fast-chaging Hend.

“I played great." Easton said. "The goal was to sneak into the top-five to get into next week (Panasonic Open India). I got going nicely and got into a position to win. I hit a few shots close early on and made a couple of putts and kept building on that.

"I just kept heading in the right direction but made some mistakes in the end,” said Easton, whose runner-up cheque of US$82,500 is expected to be enough for him to get a full Tour card for 2014.

By: Robert Grant