Singapore: Scott Hend has claimed the Asian Tour Players’ Player of the Year award.
Following a stellar 2016 campaign in which he was crowned Asian Tour Order of Merit champion with earnings of US$1.004 million, the 43-year-old Australian was recognised by his peers as the top performer.
Zimbabwean Scott Vincent was named Rookie of the Year after finishing 28th on the final Order of Merit with US$136,812, thanks to two top-10s including a runner-up finish at the Shinhan Donghae Open in Korea.
Asian Golf Industry Federation Golf Course Facility Member Sentosa Golf Club, host venue of the SMBC Singapore Open and also home of the Asian Tour, was voted as the Best Golf Course while the Shinghan Donghae Open in Korea, which made a welcome return onto the Asian Tour schedule following a lapse of 14 years, won the Best Spectator Engagement Event award.
Hend, who won the True Thailand Classic and Queen’s Cup in Thailand this year, was proud to receive the recognition from his fellow Asian Tour competitors.
“I’m delighted to win the Players’ Player of the Year award. To earn this recognition, which is voted by my peers, is truly rewarding and fulfilling and it will spur me to work harder at my game as we head into the new season,” said Hend, who also picked up the Lowest Stroke Average award (69.29).
“It has been a tremendous 2016 season for me, first winning the two tournaments in Thailand and subsequently the Asian Tour Order of Merit crown. My appearance at the Olympic Games, where I represented my country, was another major highlight. I thank my fellow Asian Tour players for this terrific recognition and also to my family for their love and support over the years.”
Thai Panuphol Pittayarat won the Birdie Leader award with 247 birdies throughout the season, pipping second-placed Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines by one bird.
American Nicolas Paez earned bragging rights by topping the Driving Distance category with an average of 312.5 yards while Sri Lankan Mithun Perera emerged as the straightest driver of the ball by hitting 82.85% fairways.
Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski hit the most Greens in Regulation with a 76.71% strike rate while Filipino Juvic Pagunsan won the Sand Saves category with an 83.33% success rate.
Australian Marcus Fraser, who finished second on the Order of Merit, proved to be the best putter on Tour, needing 1.697 putts per green in regulation.
The Tour statistician needed to break down the putting average to the thousandths to determine the winner following a tie with Indonesian Rory Hie and Thails Thanyakon Khrongpha and Pavit Tangkamolprasert.
2016 Asian Tour Roll of Honour
Order of Merit Champion: Scott Hend (AUS)
Players’ Player of the Year: Scott Hend (AUS)
Lowest Stroke Average: Scott Hend (AUS) 69.29
Rookie of the Year: Scott Vincent (ZIM)
Best Golf Course: Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore
Best Spectator Engagement: Shinhan Donghae Open, Korea
Driving Accuracy: Mithun Perera (SLK): 82.85%
Driving Distance: Nicolas Paez (US): 312.5 yards
Greens in Regulation: Malcolm Kokocinski (SWE): 76.71%
Sand Saves: Juvic Pagunsan (PHI): 83.33%
Lowest Putting Average: Marcus Fraser (AUS) 1.697
Birdie Leader: Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 236