Sep 28, 2016: Australia’s Scott Hend is ready to consolidate his position atop the Asian Tour Order of Merit with another fine showing at the KRW 1.2 billion (approximately US$1 million) Shinhan Donghae Open which starts on Thursday.
The merit leader arrived at the Bears Best Cheongna Golf Club in the best of form having secured two victories in Thailand this season.
He was narrowly denied his 10th Asian Tour title after a play-off defeat in Switzerland earlier this month.
“My game has been progressing nicely and I’ve been working hard towards achieving my goals on the Asian Tour and European Tour. Obviously I want to win the Order of Merit. It’s going to be a close fight down the stretch these last couple of months on the Asian Tour.
“It would be a great achievement personally to win the Order of Merit title as that will justify how well I’ve played in Asia over the years,” said Hend.
The big-hitting Australian is the most successful international golfer in the region and is looking forward to show the local galleries his glowing credentials.
“I always like coming back to Korea as I’ve many friends over here. There have been several great champions here at this tournament and it’s going to be a very interesting week.
“Personally, I feel great. I had a pretty long season but I’m looking forward to going out there and compete against these boys and put up a good showing,” said Hend.
Apart from his good form, Hend believes his improved mental ability has played a pivotal role in shaping his success today.
“I feel a lot calmer these days. It takes me a lot longer to get to the point where I get agitated in golf and my life in general. Before, I could blow up at the throw of a hat with the chemical imbalances in my body.
“I could use 10 gloves in a round of golf because I get really bad sweaty hands from my body going into overdrive. So it’s nice to be a bit calmer,” laughed Hend.
Hend will have his work cut out with a stellar field that features New Zealand’s Danny Lee, Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee as well as defending champion and world number 38, Byeonghun An, who is the highest ranked player this week.
Home favourites, K.T. Kim and Younghan Song, all winners on the Asian Tour will also add glamour and excitement at the Shinhan Donghae Open which is seeing the return of the Asian Tour as its new sanctioning partner along with the Korean PGA.
The popular event last featured on the Asian Tour schedule in 2002.
“I like the course here and I expect myself to do well this week. I hope this is one of those weeks where I putt well. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, although I know I’m the defending champion.
“I just want to try to replay the shots that I made last year as I really played very well then and hopefully play some good golf all over again,” said An.
Sponsored by the Shinhan Financial Group for the past 32 years, the Shinhan Donghae Open will also be the last major tournament on the KPGA schedule.
As an added motivation for players from the KPGA, the top three players not otherwise exempt will earn places at the US$1.1 million Venetian Macao Open scheduled from October 13 to 16.
Asian Tour Release