Date: October 20, 2014
Author: Martin Blake /

Hend’s Hong Kong triumph

<image="1" align="left" />In a stellar year for Australian tournament golfers, Scott Hend has sprinkled some icing on the cake.

Hend, the long-hitting Queenslander who bases himself in Asia, made a two-metre putt in the first hole of a playoff against Filipino Angelo Que to win the Hong Kong Open today.

Because the tournament is co-sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours, Hend will now have the option of joining the European Tour next year if he chooses to do so.

It is his sixth win on the Asian tour, and hard fought.

Hend carded a final-round 67 to reach 13-under and force a playoff with the talented Que, who had finished more than half an hour earlier.

 At the 18th hole in regulation the Australian had to make a sensational up-and-down for par from a plugged lie in the front bunker to even make the playoff.

 Then after he made the sliding 1.5 metre putt to save par and force a playoff, back at the 18th again, he made a solid par while Que missed the green short and right and hit a poor chip to concede a bogey.

 "Unfortunately Angelo made a bogey,'' said Hend. "I would've rathered one of us make a birdie because he's a great guy. In a playoff, I know you want to win. It'd be nice to win on a positive note making a birdie. But I'll take the win, I'm ecstatic.''

 Hend, 40, acknowledged that his save at 18 in regulation was crucial. "The one on 18 was especially tough considering the situation,'' he said. "I'd just missed a putt on 17 to take the lead. I knew I had to get it up and down, and like I said it's a tough hole, whether it's a practice round or a tournament.''

 The veteran's family — wife Leanne and their two children — are back at their American base in Florida.  "This one's for my kids. This one's to be treasured,'' he said.

 Australians won six times on the United States PGA Tour this year, and Karrie Webb has won twice on the LPGA Tour.

 In Hong Kong today there were three Australians in the top 10 — Hend, Marcus Fraser (who made a great return from injury, finishing tied-fifth) and consistent Cameron Smith (tied-ninth).