Scott Hend celebrates his third victory in the European Tour. Image: Getty
Scott Hend birdied the first play-off hole to beat Spaniard Nacho Elvira and achieve a remarkable European Tour victory in the Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur.
Hend & # 39; s third European Tour victory – but his first in three years – could hardly have been more dramatic, with he and Elvira forced off the course on the 72nd hole by a storm followed by a one-hour and 40-minute delay.
The Queenslander might have won it in regulation, moving the last hole forward once, but after the long storm delay and with both players on the green, Elvira immediately shot a monster, 10-meter birdie putt that the Australian left behind to get on sit one line to force a play-off on the 18th again.
"What a putt from Nacho," Hend said. "If I went there and hit that well, you'd say you'd open it one in ten times. It was a great putt, and in the situation he hit a hole in it. All credit to Nacho, it was fantastic. "
But in the playoff, Hend was in the greenside bunker at par-five and stood up and down in front of his little bird. Elvira could only manage par and it was over. Both players had suffered breaks and unfortunate setbacks in the final phase, with the Spaniard ruining his chip to the 72nd hole due to a thunderclap that was badly timed. On the play-off hole, Hend's shot bounced off a tree and back into the fairway.
The 45-year-old Hend is a ruthless competitor and he is particularly skilled in playing in Asia. All three are victories – today's tournament in Malaysia, the Thailand Classic in 2016 and the Hong Kong Open in 2014 – have been in that part of the world
"I had to leave quickly because I had three shots behind me," he said. "That was all there was. I was lucky enough to put five underneath and on the previous nine I shot at the same level. I can't ask for much more on a Sunday when the golf course is pretty tricky.
"I felt that I was playing fantastic on the ninth rear. I had almost a lot of putts in my hand that I just missed, all I had to do was hold my head up and stay patient, the worst scenario was a play-off
"I am a grinder and a hunter, just like my caddy Tony. We both have the same mental attitude. No matter how old we are, we work hard at what we do. It only takes a bit of luck to win.
"Of course I was lucky in the play-off hole, if you are not lucky you will not win, I was lucky today, unfortunately for Nacho. His time will come, he will win. A great player."
Hend started the day three shots on drv from 54-hole leader Elvira, but quickly jumped to the lead with five birdies on the first nine. He eventually chose a four-under-par 67 that was good enough for the win. He now jumps to the top of the tournament and guarantees his playing rights for another two years and raises $ US5 million in prize money.
Another Australian, Lucas Herbert, finished 25th.