Scott Hend again knocking on European victory door
There’s an old saying in golf that the more you keep banging on the door the hinges will eventually fall off allowing victory.
Scott Hend continues to bang heavily on that door by once again putting his name high on the leaderboard and again in one of the more prestigious European Tour events – Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
Scott Hend (Credit: Asian Tour)
It’s been 21-years since fellow Aussie won the 1995 Scottish Open at Carnoustie, 24-years since Peter O’Malley won the same event at Gleneagles and 25-years following Craig Parry becoming the first ‘Down Under’ Scottish Open champion, which was also at Gleneagles.
Hend warmed to the bright but very blustery conditions posting a super three under par 69 to share the lead with Chilean Felipe Aguilar.
The 43-year old Hend capped his Castle Stuart round with an eagle at his 11th hole while Aguilar, who next week will become the first Chile-born golfer to compete in the Open Championship, had moved to four-under par after 16 holes before dropping a shot at the last.
Hend led through three rounds of the recent BMW PGA Championship but then after failing to qualify for the U.S. Open on the day following the Tour’s flagship at Wentworth in Surrey, the Queenslander travelled to Thailand to capture the Asian Tour’s Queens Cup and his second success this season after sealing victory earlier this year in the co-sanctioned True Thailand Classic.
Now the Florida-based Hend, who has his family with him this week in northern Scotland, is again riding high on the leaderboard.
“I just love playing links golf as it doesn’t matter how hard it is, I just love it,” he said. “It beats your head in and it kicks you around and sometimes you get some back, so it’s great.”
And just as exciting for Hend was the triple confirmation last week at the French Open of being assured of teeing up in the remaining two Majors of the year and the assurance of representing Australia at next month’s Olympic Games.
Hend found his way into the Australian Men’s Olympic golf team after the withdrawal of both Adam Scott and Marc Leishman before finding himself confirmed as the top-ranked Australian teeing-up in Rio with the withdrawal early last week of compatriot and World No. 1 Jason Day.
“It’s always wonderful news when you find out you’re in a Major, and on the same day, I found out I was in the US PGA and then I found out that Jason had withdrawn from the Olympics and I was pretty much a lock-in for the Olympics, as well,” he said.
“So I had a hat trick in the same day.”
“It’s going to be awesome putting on Australian colours and representing the country is going to be a phenomenal experience. I can’t wait for it to happen.”