28 Nov 2021 | Professional golf |
Hend closes on win No. 11 in Asia
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
Scott Hend will begin his quest for an 11th win on the Asian Tour just three strokes off the lead after a brilliant round of seven-under 65 on day three of the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship in Thailand.
The first Asian Tour event since March 2020 drew more than a dozen Aussies to compete but it is the familiar face of Hend who leads the charge heading into the final round.
American Sihwan Kim (68) and Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang (68) will start the final round two strokes clear at 14-under par, local hope Sadom Kaewkanjana (72) sitting outright third followed by Hend, Korean Joohyung Kim (69) and American John Catlin (72).
Hend’s third round of seven-under was the best of the day and highlighted by a hot putter over his closing holes.
Out in two-under 34, the 48-year-old two-putted the 10th hole for par and then needed just eight putts for his final eight holes, picking up birdies at 11, 12 and 16 along with an eagle from off the green at the par-5 15th.
A 10-time winner on the Asian Tour and the 2016 Order of Merit champion, Hend is the most prolific international winner in the Asian Tour’s history and was the second player behind Thaworn Wiratchant to surpass $US5 million in career earnings on the Asian Tour.
Current Order of Merit leader Wade Ormsby (71) will begin the final round in a share of 19th position and seven shots off the lead, one clear of fellow Aussies Sam Brazel (68) and Travis Smyth (72).
There are significant milestones on the line for Aussie pair Whitney Hillier and Stephanie Kyriacou as the Ladies European Tour enters its final day of the season on Sunday.
Enjoying her most consistent season on the LET to date, Hillier is in position to match or better her career-best finish of a tie for third as she begins the fourth round of the Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana in sixth place and seven shots off the lead.
Just days out from her 31st birthday, Hillier had a bogey-free round of one-under 71 on Saturday to be three-under for the championship.
Kyriacou also posted 71 on Saturday to sit one behind Hillier in a share of seventh, needing to stay in the top five on the Order of Merit to earn exemption into the LPGA Tour’s Q-Series starting next week.
The Japan Golf Tour’s Casio World Open also wraps up on Sunday with Mikumu Horikawa (73) enjoying a three-shot buffer at the top of the leaderboard, Dylan Perry (70) the best of the Aussies in a tie for 17th.
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