The professional field for the NZ Open goes from strength to strength with the announcement today (Monday February 3) that Scott Hend, a former USPGA Tour player and now one of the most successful players on the Asian Tour, will join the 2014 NZ Open field.
Hend will play in the NZ Open off the back of completing his best season to date, finishing runner-up on the Asian Tour Money List with earnings of just on NZ$750,000.
Hend has had five victories on the Asian Tour including three wins in 2013 at the Chiangmai Golf Classic, the Mercuries Taiwan Masters and the Venetian Macau Open. During his professional career he has also won six other tournaments around the world.
Currently ranked #139 in the world, Hend is currently competing in The Dubai Desert Classic on the European tour and he follows the NZ Open with an appearance in the prestigious WCG Cadillac Championship in Doral, Florida.
Turning pro in 1998, Hend has racked up countless travel miles playing on golf courses around the world. He has enjoyed status on the PGA, Web.com, European, Asian and Australasian Tours.
After competing in the US PGA Tour from 2004 to 2006, a serious hand injury in 2006 threatened his career as a professional golfer. However the big-hitting Australian bounced back, switching his focus to the Asian Tour, being named Rookie of the Year and finishing third on the Asian Tour Order of Merit in his first year on that tour.
Hend’s driving distance is one of the most talked about areas of his game. Ranked number one in Driving Distance on the Asian Tour in 2013, big-hitting Hend records an average driving distance of 309.6 yards.
While on the USPGA Tour in 2005 he was ranked number one in driving distance, ahead of Tiger Woods (2nd) and John Daly (5th).
Born in Queensland, Hend is now based in Florida with his wife and twin children, Aston and McLaren.
Hend is looking forward to mixing with some of the sporting figures and other celebrities during the pro-am phase of the New Zealand Open and especially the chance to play at the picturesque South Island venue again.
"It should be fun, it's always great to play with other people who are good at what they do," said Hend.
"Queenstown is one of the most beautiful places I have been to in the world. I love the courses there and really wanted to get back to play there again."
NZ Open tournament director Michael Glading was delighted to secure a player ranked in the world’s top 150.
“Scott’s a fantastic player and his driving distance is out of this world. It has to be seen to be appreciated.”
“Having Scott join the field is a huge coup and we’re pleased to have him in board; he’ll certainly be one to watch,” said Mr Glading.