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Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

Sports

Golf: Australian Hend wins Hong Kong Open in playoff

AFP | Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

HONG KONG - Australia's Scott Hend won the $1.3 million (S$1.7 million) Hong Kong Open on Sunday, overcoming a valiant effort by Filipino Angelo Que in a playoff for the biggest title of Hend's career to date.

The 41-year-old held his nerve on the first extra hole, sinking a five-footer for par and his first European Tour victory as Que could only manage a bogey.

Hend, who has five Asian Tour wins to his name, collected a winner's cheque of $216,660 and will now head to nearby Macau where he is defending the title he won there last year.

It was a dramatic day at the top of the leaderboard at the Hong Kong Golf Club, with a host of players tightly bunched together and all with a chance of winning in the southern Chinese city.

Que, playing a yellow ball, dramatically tied with Hend on 13-under after a sensational shot from the rough, round the trees, led to a birdie on the eighteenth.

It looked like Que was going to become the Philippines' first winner on the European Tour when Hend dumped his approach shot to the final hole into the bunker.

But the big-hitting Australian got up and down to force the playoff on the par-four eighteenth, where Que fluffed a chip, costing him a historic title and leaving Hend with a short putt to win.

"Finally at the age of 41 I've won a European Tour event. It's very special," said Hend.

"I live to play golf and this is what it's all about. This is what makes it worthwhile" "I'm good mates with Angelo and I feel bad for him making the bogey the way he did. Of course we want to win but you don't want to see your competitor make a mistake for you to win.

"But I'll take the win and treasure it," he added.

Que, dressed in lime-green trousers and a bright orange shirt, said the iron from the rough on his final hole of regulation play was the "shot of my career".

"Coming in this week my goal was to finish top ten, top five, so second is way better," he told reporters.

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