Hend comes from behind to claim Queensland Open

BY iseekgolf.com | Von Nida Tour | 2003 Queensland Open | Wrap | 02 Nov 2003
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Brisbane professional Scott Hend came from down the list to snatch a two shot victory in the Q.L.D. Group Queensland Open Golf Championship after the wind blown Ipswich course trapped the major contenders.

Hend, 30, based at Nudgee, started the day in equal tenth position, but fired the day’s best score of 67 for a 72 hole total of minus 13, two better than overnight leader Matt Millar (ACT).

As Hend sat in the clubhouse wondering if he would have to go to a sudden death play-off, his three nearest challengers fell foul of a lake in front of the 17th green and one by one they surrendered their last hopes.

First, leading amateur Adam Blyth took a bogey to fall back to minus 10, then overnight leaders Millar and Euan Walters (VIC) finished with double bogeys to be out of contention.

Hend had warned after the second day that he had come to Ipswich to win the tournament, despite being eight shots behind the leaders.

“It turned around today when I chipped in for a birdie on 13 and then I thought one more in the last five holes would be enough,” he said.

He actually parred the last five holes but his challengers fell victim of another 40 knot wind which made low scoring almost impossible.

Hend admitted his main aim today had been to finish in front of fellow Queenslander Chris Downes to maintain an advantage on the Order of Merit list.

Downes twice reached 11 under par but fell away in the final five holes to finished at minus 9, in equal seventh position.

Millar, from the Belconnen Club in Canberra, said his tee shot on the 17th had finished against a tree and his cramped shot out caught the rough and landed in the huge lake guarding the front of the green.

“I’m not disappointed to run second but I thought I could have won after being in front most of the day,” the 27 year old said.

Millar is hoping the money he won in the Open, and good finishes at the Queensland and Australian PGA tournaments in the next month will be enough to earn him an exempt start in the Australian Open.

The most surprised placegetter was Newcastle’s Nathan Green who played steady golf for a one under par 71 to sneak into equal third with leading amateur Adam Blyth (QLD).

Green, who stayed at Hend’s home for the tournament, said they had discussed their chances last night and agreed they could master the conditions.

Green and Hend will be among a contingent of Australian hopefuls heading to California in the next fortnight for the second stage of the USA Tour School.

Green, currently 14th on the Australian order of merit said today’s result would give him added confidence as he attacks the 72 hole qualifying tournament for a chance at the lucrative American circuit.

A fourth successive sub par round kept 20 year old Adam Blyth at the top of the amateur list and his best finish in a 72 hole tournament.

With his father Steve as caddy, the Queensland Academy of Sport representative was thrilled at his result despite hitting the water on 17 with a possible victory in his sights.

Playing with the experienced Queenslanders Don Fardon and Scott Bouvier, also last day disappointments, as his playing partners, Blyth took his chances.

He admitted he mis-played an eight iron to the green on 17 and watched in horror as the wind carried it left into the water.

Source – QLD PGA

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