At 40 Hend sets sight on PGA Tour return

Scott Hend never feared reaching the big “40″ as the last few years has seen the Queenslander play some of the best golf of his career since turning pro in 1997.

Hend finished second on the 2013 Asia Tour Order of Merit with earnings of US$579,900 and three tour wins, the Chiang Mai Golf Classic, Mercuries Taiwan Masters and the Venetian Macau Open.

Scott Hend Scott Hend (Credit: Asian Tour)

The challenge for 2014 is to back this up with another stellar season and a return to the US full-time.

“2013 was great; it’s going to be tough to back that sort of year up,” said Hend last week after finishing in a tie for 18th position at the Maybank Malaysian Open.

This year has been a slow build up for Hend.

He has played four events in four months with his best a tie for 16th at the WGC Cadillac Championship in Doral on the PGA Tour where he gained a start after being runner up on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

Hend relished the chance to return to the PGA Tour having played there in 2004-05 after gaining his card at Q-School for both seasons.

“I played really good at Doral,” said Hend.

“I was a bit frustrated with the last few holes. It was playing tough; but love that golf course and I’d love to be back here playing in the US. That’s the immediate plan.”

Hend plays fearless golf that is suited to the US courses. In Asia, Hend stands out as one of the most aggressive players on Tour.

“I am working to try and get into those final four events of the year and get a card.” he says.

“I aim to have enough points up to get into the last four events of the year and see then if I can get enough money to progress on that tour.”

Whilst Asia has been good to him, it’s the PGA Tour where his sights are now set.

His ambitions for 2014 are clear. Get into the final series and break into the top 100 world ranking to gain a start in the US PGA Championship. He is currently ranked 126th in the world.

To aid his US quest, Hend intends to also play a few Monday qualifiers for tournaments.

“It’s tough, you have 150 guys trying for a handful of spots, one mistake and you’re gone. But, at present that’s the main option and we all know what the chances are like.”

Hend is Florida-based so he has a big incentive to play tournament golf closer to his young family.

Currently he is back in Asia for a five week trip.

“Skype is okay but its no substitute for playing baseball in the back yard with your kids. I may have hit 40, but I’m ready to return to the US and play again – that’s the plan.”