Macao, October 20: Australian Scott Hend hit the jackpot for the third time this season as he cruised to a commanding three-stroke victory at the Venetian Macao Open on Sunday.
With an overnight four-shot lead, the big-hitting Hend comfortably held off the chasing pack at the Macao Golf and Country Club, closing with a four-under-par 67 to for a 16-under-par 268 total to add to his triumphs in Chiangmai and Taipei this year.
India’s Anirban Lahiri matched the course record with a blistering nine-under-par 62 for second place while four-time Major champion Ernie Els of South Africa shared third with Elmer Salvador of the Philippines after a 67 and 66 respectively in the US$800,000 Asian Tour tournament.
Hend, who picked up the champion’s cheque of US$144,000, was delighted to extend his magical season after opening his week with a dismal 74 and then going head-to-head with Els over three rounds.
“Thursday was a difficult day, mentally and physically. Then on Friday and Saturday, I started holing putts which I haven’t done the whole year even when I won a couple of weeks ago. I’ve holed my fair share this week,” said Hend, who averaged 26.5 putts for the tournament.
“Ernie is one of the best players in the world. I had my own goals and targets and I achieved my goal which was to stay patient, patient, patient. In the first four holes, I didn’t make any birdie. Ernie started to put some heat on me and all of the sudden, I hit a great shot on the fifth for birdie there. It was all about being patient.
“Three wins in a year is definitely the best golf of my career. Who knows what’s going to happen in the next few months. There are some big tournaments coming up and it’ll be nice to perform well in those and be competitive. The year hasn’t finished yet,” added the Aussie, whose victory was his fifth on the Asian Tour.
Els, who turned 44 on Thursday, applied the pressure early on with birdies on two, three and six but a bogey on nine halted his momentum. “It was very frustrating. I started off nicely again and then made a soft bogey on nine. I couldn’t afford any mistakes. I needed to keep the pedal on the metal but I made that mistake and I didn’t play the back nine all that well either. Tough weekend but I think Scott was very strong,” said Els, who was making his debut at the Venetian Macao Open.
“I had four shots to make up and four shots is a lot to make up especially with the caliber of Scott. He deserved to win.”
The 26-year-old Lahiri charged up the leaderboard to finish second, thanks to one eagle and eight birdies as he tied countryman Amandeep Johl’s course mark set in 2004. The Indian star, who has three wins on the Asian Tour, got to within two shots of Hend during the final round but was still delighted with his strong finish.
“I got off to a great start, holed a 30-footer on the first hole. I played really good right from the start. Yesterday was a similar story but I ran into some trouble on the back nine. I’m glad I kept my cool and played solid in the end,” said Lahiri.
“I changed my driver from yesterday. I’ve had major issues controlling the golf ball but I changed my driver and it gave me confidence having a club that I could control better. Hit it close on two to make eagle and kept hitting it close.”
Salvador was delighted to tie Els for third place for his best outing of the year, with a cheque of US$45,200 securing his Tour card for 2014 after starting the week in 73rdplace on the Order of Merit.
“I saved many pars and had a good putting day. My driving was a little wild but my irons helped me save a lot of pars. I’m happy that I’ve saved my card for next year. It feels good to be tied with Ernie. He’s a superstar,” said the Filipino.
Jointly organised by Macao Sport Development Board of Macao SAR Government (MSDB) and Golf Association of Macao, the tournament is sanctioned by the latter and the Asian Tour, and promoted by IMG. Following a successful foray into the world of golf last year, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel has returned as title sponsor of the event.
The Venetian Macao Open will once again be a free entry event for golf fans from around the world to enjoy live world class professional golf in one of the best loved destinations for leisure and business travel in Asia.
Since its inauguration in 1998, the tournament has been graced by the presence of some of the best golfers the world has ever seen, including Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam and Mark O’Meara. This year’s event boasts a total prize fund of US$800,000, an increase of 6.7% compared to last year.
Sponsors joining The Venetian Macao in support of the tournament include Rolex, Srixon, Air Macao, Blue Girl and Bonaqua, as well as first time sponsors Lamborghini, Maui Jim, Subway, Hytera, Twinwoods Wine and Hong Kong Descente, which carries both the Le Coq Sportif Golf Collection and Munsingwear.
For more details on the Venetian Macao Open, please visit www.thevenetianmacauopen.com
For further information, please contact:
Phoebe Pang, Senior Account Manager (Communications), Fast Track
+852 2616 2703
About Macao Sport Development Board of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government
Macao Sport Development Board, under the capacity of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, is a public organization of administration autonomy. The organization is responsible for the implementation of sport strategy and policy formulated by the Macao SAR Government. Its objective is to stimulate, encourage, and promote all kind of sports in Macao, also to create an essential condition for sport development.
For the development of competitive sports and ‘Sport for all’, the Macao Sport Development Board organizes various high level international sport competitions as well as recreational classes and thematic ‘Sport for all’ activities each year, in an endeavor to promote the international status of Macao, reinforce communication and co-operation with other countries and cites, enhance citizens’ quality of life and arouse their interest in sport, so as to accelerate and facilitate the enhancement of the level of sport in Macao.
For more information, please visit www.sport.gov.mo
About Golf Association of Macao
The Golf Association of Macao is the governing body of golf in Macao and promotes the sport across all levels with the city. It is the co-organiser and official sanctioning body of the Venetian Macao Open.
About The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel
Opened in 2007, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel is Macao’s first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The Venetian Macao features 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of convention and meeting facilities as well as a 15,000-seat Cotai Arena designed for world-class sports events and electrifying entertainment. The Venetian Macao is also home to the unique, 1,800-seat luxury Venetian Theatre, hosting the best in international and Chinese entertainment; more than 30 renowned restaurants; MALO CLINIC Health & Wellness; the incredibly fun QUBE indoor playground and more than 300 retailers at Shoppes at Venetian. Outdoor recreation areas include swimming pools and cabanas and a mini-golf course.
For more information, please visit www.venetianmacao.com.
About Cotai Strip Resorts Macao – Macao’s Integrated Resort City
Sands China Ltd. is the leading developer, owner and operator of integrated resorts in Macao. The befittingly named Cotai Strip Resorts Macao, situated on reclaimed land between the islands of Coloane and Taipa, is the one destination that provides a stunning array of experiences at the heart of Cotai. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao has transformed a gaming-centric day-trip market into an integrated resort city and international hub for business and leisure travellers.
Pulsating with life, both night and day, Cotai Strip Resorts Macao features an expansive offering of affordable luxury available nowhere else in Macao, with approximately 9,000 hotel rooms and suites, international superstar live entertainment, duty-free shopping with 600 retailers offering an unparalleled array of name brands, 1.3 million square feet (120,000 square metres) of meeting and exhibition space for Asia’s leading conferences and exhibitions, gaming excitement, transportation offerings and well over 100 dining options, including international restaurants, bars and lounges. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao is a must-see destination providing every guest with an unforgettable experience and unparalleled excitement.
Comprised of the The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel; The Plaza™ Macao, featuring the Four Seasons Hotel Macao; and Sands® Cotai Central, featuring the world’s largest Conrad, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn hotels, Cotai Strip Resorts Macao is where Asia’s ultimate destination is all within reach.
Cotai Strip Resorts Macao….truly Macao Starts Here™. For more information, please visit http://en.cotaistrip.com/.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in more than 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in India, China, Brazil and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at www.imgworld.com. Follow us on Twitterand Facebook.