Hend takes morning lead at Huntingdale
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2008 Australian Masters | Round One | 27 Nov 2008
Florida-based Queenslander Scott Hend took advantage of yet another one of his huge drives at the final hole of his opening round of the Sportsbet Australian Masters for a round of five under 67 to take the clubhouse lead.
Hend is recovering from a tennis elbow type of injury he incurred while lifting boxes of tiles at his home in Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida earlier this year. That was 13 weeks ago but he has continued to play through the pain barrier at times.
“The doctor told me to take nine weeks off but as i said to him it is impossible to take that much time off at this time of the year.”
“I know I can play good and this round doesn’t surprise me. I am more surprised when I play bad than when I play good. I just want to get back to where I was a couple of years ago.”
Hend is a good enough player to have earned the right to play the USPGA Tour and in fact in his rookie season he finished third behind Zach Johnson at the Bell South event at the TPC Sugarloaf. Despite the result he lost his full status that year and eventually found himself back on the Asian Tour where he has played well in 2008 winning an event in Indonesia earlier in the season and finishing runner up to Mark Brown at the Sails event in India.
Hend has been to both the USPGA Tour and European Tour schools in the past few weeks without success but he has made an encouraging start on a day where scoring was not particularly easy. He will play in Asia in 2009 and will take his wife and children there on a more regular basis next year.
“It is too hard spending as much time away from them as I do and I would like to get into the same situation as David Gleeson has done this year by bringing the family over on a more regular basis.”
At the completion of morning play, Hend led by two over Anthony Brown and by three over a large group at 2 under including Australians Peter Senior, Scott Barr and Martin Doyle and Englishmen Simon Griffiths, Marcus Higley and Dave Horsey. Horsey finished 5th in this event last year and had an outstanding season on the Challenge Tour in 2008 earning full status on the European Tour.
Hot blustery winds dominated the morning conditions and there is still the possibility of a storm later in the day.