Fiji: Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Scott Hend will jet straight from the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow to the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course for the Fiji International which will take place from August 17 to 20.
Hend, who claimed a tied-10th place finish at the World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational last week, will make his second appearance at the PGA Championship this week before going to compete in the tri-sanctioned Fiji International for the first time in his career.
The Queenslander’s playing schedule has been jam-packed with tournaments which included two Majors and the WGC event through July and early August.
“It’s been a big few weeks for me playing The Open, then the Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship this weekend before the Fiji International next week,” said Hend, currently ranked 92nd on the Official World Golf Ranking.
“I’m looking forward to playing at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course in the relaxed atmosphere Fiji is renowned for.
“It’s also my first chance to get back to playing an event on the Asian Tour in a while so hopefully I can get a good result and start climbing their Order of Merit rankings again this year,” added the 43-year-old Australian.
Hend is the latest to join a star-studded line-up which includes former Major Champions Vijay Singh, Mike Weir and Angel Cabrera at the Fiji International, tri-sanctioned for the first time by the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, European Tour and the Asian Tour.
Hend, a two-time European Tour winner and a nine-time winner on the Asian Tour, is expcting a tough contest at the re-designed Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.
“A lot of the young guys on the Asian Tour have a lot of potential, throw in the three Major Champions Vijay, Mike and Angel and it’s going to make for a really competitive week, I’m looking forward to it.”
The Honourable Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism welcomed Scott Hend to Fiji for the first time.
“We’re delighted to welcome a player of Scott Hend’s calibre to Fiji,” Siddiq Koya said.
“He will no doubt be a draw card to golf fans in Fiji following his recent performances overseas and we look forward to hosting Scott and his fellow players at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.”
Gavin Kirkman, CEO of the PGA of Australia which oversees the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia said having a player in strong form like Hend will set up a competitive week for the tournament’s fourth staging.
“Scott’s third round of 7-under 63 against a field of the best players in the world at the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational was certainly thrilling to watch. He is an extremely talented player that often gets on hot streaks and posts low rounds,” Kirkman said.
“I’m sure the Fijian fans will get a kick out of seeing players such as Scott, Vijay Singh, Angel Cabrera and Mike Weir go head-to-head, up close and personal at the Fiji International.”