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Scott Hend, the ultimate golf traveller

Scott Hend, the ultimate golf traveller

Paul Myers

May 21st, 2014

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Among international professional golfers, Scott Hend may be the game’s ultimate traveller.
The Florida-based Australian native, who was second on the Asian Tour’s money list last year, splits his time between his home in Ponte Vedra Beach, the web.com and Asian tours and leading tournaments in Australia if time allows.
In an era when many golf pros are reducing their travel to concentrate on only one tour, Hend, 40, gets on and off planes – economy class much of the time – to ply his wares across the globe.
But there’s a clear goal behind his self-imposed gruelling travel schedule: to get back into the world’s top 100 players and, in the short term, to become eligible for the PGA Championship in August. By the end of the 2014 season he hopes to have enough FedEx points to qualify for the last four events on the Web.com Tour, when 28 PGA Tour cards are on offer for the new season commencing in October.
It would be familiar territory for the native of Townsville in North Queensland, who won almost $1 million in prizemoney on the PGA Tour between 2004-2006 and has played the Asian Tour since 2007, when he was rookie of the year. He has played in three US Opens, finishing 32nd in 2006, and one British Open.
Hend, a down-to-earth realist, believes he has a good chance of achieving his two major goals.
With 10 professional wins under his belt, including three in Asia last year, he feels his game is again good enough to compete with the world’s best. He puts his resurgence down to improved health after a thyroid operation in 2013.
“It’s dietary and physical and getting the right chemical balance,” he explains. “I’ve worked hard at achieving this and feel my health and my game are now back to where I can perform well again.”
With the 2014 Asian Tour commencing in Kuala Lumpur in March, Hend made the 20-hour trip from Florida to Bangkok before heading to the Malaysian capital for the Maybank Malaysia Open, where he finished equal 18th in a high-calibre field behind the winner, Lee Westwood. Two weeks later he finished 24th in The Championship, played in Singapore, then 5th in a One Asia event in Korea.
Soon he’ll head back to his family in the US and rejoin the Web.com Tour.
Even if he does become eligible for the PGA Tour next year or sometime down the track, Hend says he will always have an allegiance to the Asian Tour.
“You have to show loyalty to the tours that enabled you to get where you are in golf,” he says. “I feel a strong loyalty to the Asian Tour, which is why I play as many tournaments in Asia as I can. “
But he has doubts about the wisdom of the PGA Tour’s entry into China, where a dozen events are being played between March and December.
“China used to have One Asia Tour events; now it has gone to the PGA Tour. This is a threat to both the Asia and European tours. I think this shows how fragile these tours are.”
Hend, who along with 1985 British Open and 1988 US Masters winner Sandy Lyle, is sponsored by Thai apparel company, Fenix Golf, and a Korean health food company, Bacchus.
“Fenix makes really good golf clothing,” he says. “I’m very impressed with it. I think as a sports apparel company, it will go a long way.

Scott Hend pictured at the XCite Golf Centre in Bangkok alongside a photo of himself blasting from a bunker.

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