Australian Scott Hend hit the jackpot for the third time this season as he cruised to a commanding three-stroke victory at the Venetian Macau Open in mid-October.
With an overnight four-shot lead, the big-hitting Hend comfortably held off the chasing pack at the Macau Golf and Country Club, closing with a four-under-par 67 to for a 16-under-par 268 total to add to his Asian Tour triumphs in Chiangmai and Taipei this year.
India’s Anirban Lahiri matched the course record with a blistering nine-under-par 62 for second place while four-time Major champion Ernie Els of South Africa shared third with Elmer Salvador of the Philippines after a 67 and 66 respectively in the US$800,000 Asian Tour tournament.
Hend, who picked up the champion’s cheque of US$144,000, was delighted to extend his magical season after opening his week with a dismal 74 and then going head-to-head with Els over three rounds.
"It’s important to win again this week, 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 just 26.5 putts for the tournament.
"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.
"Three wins in a year is definitely the best golf of my career. Who knows what’s going to happen in the next few months. There are some big tournaments coming up and it’ll be nice to perform well in those and be competitive. The year hasn’t finished yet," added the Aussie, whose victory was his fifth on the Asian Tour.
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