Sentosa, Singapore: Australian Scott Hend put himself in position to qualify for the Olympic Games this August after claiming a one-shot victory at the Queen’s Cup on Sunday for his ninth Asian Tour title and second win of the season.
With his victory on the beautiful island of Koh Samui, Hend joined Prayad Marksaeng as the third joint player with most number of victories on the Asian Tour. Since 2012, the Australian has also been the most successful player by winning eight titles on the region’s premier Tour.
Hend rose to 74th position on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) following his win, overtaking countryman and Order of Merit leader Marcus Fraser. He is now in the running to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.
“There are three more weeks for the Olympic qualifying and my next big goal is to play well in the BMW International this week to get into The Open,” said Hend, the most successful international golfer on the Asian Tour.
“These are all mini goals that are all attached. It’s like a tree with the roots on the ground and the branches on top. They have got to grow,” he added.
The big-hitting Hend was victorious at the Santiburi Samui Country Club where he took home a cheque worth US$54,000 which moved him up to third place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
“I am 43 this year, who knows how much longer I can play although I’m getting better with age. It’ll be nice to play in the Olympics and be one of the first few Australians to play in it since golf’s re-inclusion.
“It’s all these different things that you chalk up in your career and when you are finished, you just sit back and say this is what I did,” added Hend, the first player to win twice on the Asian Tour this season.
Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung gave himself a chance to close in on compatriot Gavin Green on the Olympic rankings after finishing seventh at the Queen’s Cup which was his first top-10 result this season.
“I’m very happy as this is my first time playing so well in Samui. I finished 12th in my first year here and then missed two straight cuts. I just told myself to enjoy myself this week and it worked,” said the 26-year-old Fung, who occupies 33rd place on the Order of Merit.
“Hopefully this will move me closer to Gavin. Anything is still possible. I’ve got one more tournament in Chinese Taipei next week and hopefully I can play well there,” added Fung.
Korea’s Jeunghun Wang, who finished the week three shots back in tied-third place, continues to trail Fraser in second place on the Order of Merit while Filipino Miguel Tabuena and Soomin Lee, also of Korea, sit in fourth and fifth places respectively.
The Asian Tour will head to Chinese Taipei next week for the US$500,000 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship, which will be staged at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club from June 30 to July 3. It will be the final Olympic qualifying event on the Asian Tour.
ASIAN TOUR ORDER OF MERIT – TOP-20
Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)
1. Marcus FRASER (AUS) 637,261
2. Jeunghun WANG (KOR) 484,386
3. Scott HEND (AUS) 367,399
4. Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 336,258
5. Soomin LEE (KOR) 319,301
6. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 312,213
7. Yuta IKEDA (JPN) 273,473
8. Younghan SONG (KOR) 224,772
9. Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) 198,990
10. Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 166,368
11. Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 153,245
12. K.T. KIM (KOR) 150,500
13. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 144,178
14. Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 141,646
15. Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 134,124
16. Angelo QUE (PHI) 120,125
17. Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 115,214
18. Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) 112,032
19. Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 109,020
20. Shiv KAPUR (IND) 99,220