Macao: Australian Scott Hend claimed a second Venetian Macao Open victory in three years after holding off title-holder Anirban Lahiri and Chiragh Kumar of India with an impressive final round of five-under-par 66.
Big-hitting Hend cruised to a three-stroke triumph at the Macau Golf and Country Club to become only the second player after China’s Zhang Lian-wei to win twice at the US$1 million Asian Tour event with a tournament record of 20-under-par 264.
It was sweet revenge for the 42-year-old who was pipped by Lahiri last year and he collected the winner’s cheque of US$180,000. Lahiri and Kumar shared second place after closing with a 66 and 65 respectively.
“I feel relieved and rewarded as I’ve worked hard the last few weeks in Europe,” said Hend, who entered the last day with a three-shot cushion.
“I knew Anirban wasn’t going to go away. He’s a great player and I just went out there with the aim to shoot a good score as I knew they had to catch me. I can’t really remember much about 2013 (his win). I remember more about last year where I didn’t play solid down the stretch and Anirban got me. So this year, it is a different feeling.”
Hend, who has now won seven times on the Asian Tour and will defend his UBS Hong Kong Open title next week, maintained his three-shot advantage at the turn and made a crucial par save on 10 with a six-foot putt. Had he missed, the lead would have been cut to one as Lahiri knocked it stiff for his fourth birdie of the day.
“I was just trying to think of making a solid par,” said Hend. “Anirban hit a great shot into 10 for birdie and fortunately for me, I made a great up and down on 10 and also on 11. From there, I felt I could move forward and play solid.
“I just tried to make the right choices and not put any pressure on myself and let Anirban have a sniff. I was concerned about Anirban as once he gets a sniff it’s pretty hard to get in front of him,” added Hend, who all but guaranteed his place in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and WGC-HSBC Champions in China over the next few weeks.
Singapore: Michael Braidwood, one of the most respected educators on club management in the EMEA region, will be the presenter for the third instalment of the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s Sustainability Series.