Hot Hend booked for Fiji International

By: Irfaan Khan

 

Hend hits from a bunker during the Australian Open golf tournament in SydneyReigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Scott Hend will jet straight from the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow to Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course for the 2017 Fiji International from 17-20 August.

Hend, who last week finished T10 against a star studded field at the 2017 World Golf Championship – Bridgestone Invitational will make his second appearance at the PGA Championship before competing in the tri-sanctioned Fiji International for the first time in his career.

The Queenslander’s playing schedule has been jam-packed including two Majors and the WGC event through July and early August.

“It’s been a big few weeks for me playing The Open, then the Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship this weekend before the Fiji International next weekend,” said Hend, the World Number 92.

“I’m looking forward to playing at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course in the relaxed atmosphere Fiji is renowned for.

“It’s also my first chance to get back to playing an event on the Asian Tour in a while so hopefully I can get a good result and start climbing their Order of Merit rankings again this year.”

Hend is the latest to join a star-studded line-up at the Fiji International including former Major Champions Vijay Singh, Mike Weir and Angel Cabrera as well as European and Asian Tour professionals, many of whom are making their first appearance at the tournament.

A two-time European Tour winner and a nine-time winner on the Asian Tour, Hend is no stranger to many in the field and says he expects a tough contest at the re-designed Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.

“A lot of the young guys on the Asian Tour have a lot of potential, throw in the three Major Champions Vijay, Mike and Angel and it’s going to make for a really competitive week, I’m looking forward to it.”

The Honourable Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism welcomed Scott Hend to Fiji for the first time.

“We’re delighted to welcome a player of Scott Hend’s calibre to Fiji,” Siddiq Koya said.

“He will no doubt be a draw card to golf fans in Fiji following his recent performances overseas and we look forward to hosting Scott and his fellow players at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.”

Gavin Kirkman, CEO of the PGA of Australia which oversees the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia said having a player in strong form like Hend will set up a competitive week for the tournament’s fourth staging.

“Scott’s third round of 7-under 63 against a field of the best players in the world at the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational was certainly thrilling to watch. He is an extremely talented player that often gets on hot streaks and posts low rounds,” Kirkman said.

“I’m sure the Fijian fans will get a kick out of seeing players such as Scott, Vijay Singh, Angel Cabrera and Mike Weir go head-to-head, up close and personal at the Fiji International.”

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