Playing in near perfect conditions, early starters Hend and Norris totalled even-par 210 to make a huge move up the leaderboard after making the cut on the number at Royal Birkdale. They are currently inside the top-15 in the on-going round three.
“Yesterday was pretty stressful sitting there and watching because I was in and out of the cut mark,” said Hend.
“I thought I missed it because I bogeyed the two par fives coming in. I was out there playing and I knew that I messed up so it is pretty hard when it is in your control and then it is out of your control. It was a pleasure to be here on a Saturday,” he added.
Hend got off to a bogey, bogey start but battled back to even-par at the turn before firing five straight birdies on the 13th hole to give himself a fighting chance on Sunday.
“If you make two bogeys, it is just like making a double but I bounced back from that. I was able to match the speed with my lines on the greens. It was brutal yesterday. If you let your guard down, you drop shots really easily. And today, I think someone will go out to shoot a 64 or 63. If the wind stays down, it is right there for the taking,” said Hend.
Norris, a two-time Asian Tour winner, was the first man out today and he took advantage of the calm conditions by shooting a flawless card highlighted by five birdies.