SCOTT HEND held off a stunning late charge from home favourite Piya Swangarunporn to claim the True Thailand Classic and make it a record with five different Aussies winners on the European Tour this season.
The 42 year old Queenslander came into the final round at Black Mountain Golf Club six shots ahead of Swanagarunporn but was a shot behind with five holes to play as the Thai fired a brilliant course record 63 to get to 17 under.
A birdie on the 14th put Hend back into a share of top spot, and when he took advantage of the driveable 17th for the fourth time in the week it was enough to secure a 68 and a second European Tour title by a single shot.
“There are so many great players out here on the Asian Tour and obviously the European Tour as well so it was no surprise the guys came after me,” said Hend.
“But for Piya to shoot 63 today was an amazing round of golf and he must have played extremely well all day. He set the score and the target and then I had to just try and keep making birdies to try and catch him. I learned from last year when I pushed too hard on the 17th here and lost my chance to win. So this year I knew I had to be patient and let the golf course come to me.
“The two three woods I hit on the 18th were among the best three woods I have hit. Once I was on the green I knew that I just had to three putt somehow for the win. I hit a great drive on 17 and two putted for birdie which gave me the edge.
“This is a great win and I would love to try and kick on now and get another win, try and qualify for the Open and also try and get into the match play and see if I can do anything against the top 50 in the world.”
The win for Hend means 2016 is the first season in the history of The European Tour to have five different Australian winners and makes it two winners from Down Under in a row following Adam Scott’s triumph at the World Golf Championships – Cadillac Championship.
The winning record is: Nathan Holman (Australian PGA Championship), Marc Leishman (Nedbank Golf Challenge), Marcus Fraser (Maybank Championship Malaysia), Adam Scott (WGC -Cadillac Championship) and Scott Hend (True Thailand Classic Presented by Chang).
It is also the first time since 1991 that Australia has recorded five European Tour victories in the same season. The five in 1991 were: Craig Parry (Italian Open and Scottish Open), Ian Baker-Finch (Open Championship), Mike Harwood (European Open) and Rodger Davis (Volvo Masters).
As a result of the win Hend will likely move into the top 80 in the Official World Golf Rankings.
The European Tour now moves to New Delhi for the Hero Indian Open.