Mike Hendry faces two important weeks

BY NZPGA | Australasian PGA Tour | 2013 New Zealand PGA Pro-Am Championship | Preview | 26 Feb 2013

There’s plenty for New Zealander Michael Hendry to play for at this week’s NZ PGA Championship in Queenstown. The 33-year-old is the defending champion and comes into the event in superb form, having finished second at the Queensland PGA Championship in Toowoomba last weekend. It was his second top five finish in succession this year.

That’s the sort of form Hendry will be keen to continue this week, as he prepares for next week’s World Golf Championship event in the States. The Auckland pro will line up in the Cadillac Championship courtesy of his second place finish on the 2012 PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit. Both he and OOM winner Peter Senior secured invites to the event in Miami.

Hendry says it’s a huge incentive to play well this week.

“It’s always nice to go into a tournament on the back of a win. It’s great for the confidence.

“It’s obviously very exciting to be playing against the world’s best but I’m just trying to treat it as another tournament.”

Hendry’s first chance to test his skills against the world’s elite golfers has largely gone unnoticed in New Zealand, something he is actually quite pleased about. It means he’s been able to fly under the radar.

“I’m probably the benefactor of Lydia (Ko) doing so well. I’m quite happy for her to grab all the attention – it means I’ve been able to just play my game without too many distractions.”

And he’s all too aware of distractions as he turns his attention to The Hills this week. Hendry says the WGC is obviously in the back of his mind, but that is where it has to stay while he focuses on what needs to be done to defend his NZ PGA Championship title.

If everything goes to plan, Hendry will make it back-to-back titles at Sir Michael Hill’s private course and then carry his momentum onto the world stage. As for who he’d like to be paired with if he had the choice in Miami next week, Hendry is undecided who he would prefer.

“I’d like to say Tiger or Rory but with the circus that comes with them it might be better to get someone else.”

The NZ PGA Championship gets underway on Thursday February 28.

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