Australian Scott Hend cemented his status as the most successful international golfer on the Asian Tour after claiming his 10th victory and first in three years at the US$3 million Maybank Championship on Sunday.
Thanks to a winner’s prize purse of US$500,000, Hend propelled to the top of the Habitat for Humanity Standings and broke the US$5 million mark in career earnings on the region’s premier Tour following his play-off success at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
With accumulated earnings of US$5.04 million since making his debut in 2007, the 45-year-old Hend is now the second highest-earning player following Thai star Thongchai Jaidee, a record three-time Order of Merit champion, on the Asian Tour’s Career Money List.
Thai legend Thaworn Wiratchant, who holds an unprecedented 18 wins on Tour, sits in third place with US$4.57 million in earnings while India’s Anirban Lahiri and Prayad Marksaeng, also of Thailand, took fourth and fifth with US$3.90 million and US$3.86 million respectively.
Hend’s achievements over the past decade have been highly-commendable, especially in Asia, where he had claimed all his 10 victories, including three at events co-sanctioned with the European Tour.
He broke through in Indonesia in 2008 and won eight titles across Singapore (1), Thailand (3), Macau (2), Hong Kong (1) and Chinese Taipei (1) between 2012 and 2016. Hend became the first Australian to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2016, thanks to two victories and three top-10s.
“I’m leading the Asian Tour Order of Merit at the moment and it gives me a good chance to win it again. It’ll be another fantastic achievement and I would like to do it again,” said Hend, who also became the fourth player to surpass US$1 million in earnings in a single season in 2016.
Hend’s victory in Malaysia was made made even more special with his good friend and long-time caddy Tony Carolan by his side. “I’m a grinder and a fighter. So is my caddy Tony. We both have the same mental attitude.”
“It doesn’t matter how old we are, we work hard at what we do. Just takes a bit of luck to win. Obviously, I had a bit of luck on the play-off hole. If you don’t have any luck you won’t win,” Hend added.
The big-hitting Hend is now the fourth player after Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant (18), Thongchai Jaidee (13) and Prayad Marksaeng (10) to obtain 10 wins or more on the Asian Tour.
Hend took over the driver’s seat on the Habitat for Humanity Standings with earnings of US$507,792 while previous leader Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand, who enjoyed a third-place finish in Malaysia, slipped to second with a current haul of US$427,600.
Australian rookie Zach Murray also slipped to third place following a tied-41st place finish in Malaysia while American Johannes Veerman, who took home his career’s biggest prize purse of a U$150,000 thanks to his fourth-place finish, propelled to fourth place on the money list.
The Asian Tour will head to India for the prestigious Hero Indian Open this week. The US$1,750,000 event, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour, will be held at the DLF Golf and Country Club from March 28 to 31.
Leading 20 players on the Habitat for Humanity
Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)
1. Scott HEND (AUS) $507,792.25
2. Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) $427,600.44
3. Zach MURRAY (AUS) $189,140.71
4. Johannes VEERMAN (USA) $158,720.00
5. Scott VINCENT (ZWE) $71,245.03
6. Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) $54,826.67
7. Prom MEESAWAT (THA) $53,518.10
8. Nicholas FUNG (MAS) $51,160.16
9. Chikkarangappa S. (IND) $48,843.74
10. David LIPSKY (USA) $47,100.00
11. Paul PETERSON (USA) $45,039.20
12. Ben CAMPBELL (NZL) $41,648.48
13. Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) $40,560.00
14. Angelo QUE (PHI) $38,120.00
15. Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) $37,869.98
16. Doyeob MUN (KOR) $37,150.00
17. Gareth PADDISON (NZL) $36,327.27
18. Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) $35,765.50
19. Shaun NORRIS (RSA) $33,220.00
20. Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) $29,400.00