Scott Hend joined a very small group of Australian golfers to have ever won a major international tour’s order of merit when he reigned supreme on this year’s Asian Tour but his achievement perhaps hasn’t generated the level of respect it warrants.
Hend’s 2016 season made him just the fourth person in Asian Tour history to crack the US$1 million mark with earnings of US$1,004,792 from 11 events to finish almost US$275,000 ahead of countryman Marcus Fraser.
The 43-year-old is now third on the Asian Tour’s all-time money list, behind Thais Thongchai Jaidee and Thaworn Wiratchant, with almost US$3.8 million on a tour offering only a small fraction of the money up for grabs on the US PGA Tour.
To offer further perspective on the difficulty of beating Asia’s best players on their local tour, the next highest non-Asian representative on the Asian Tour’s all-time money list is Fraser, who is 15th.
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Hend’s consistency over the past decade in Asia has been remarkable. In addition to his Order of Merit title, he’s finished 4th three times (2007, 2009 & 2014) and 2nd twice (2013, 2015).
He is just the fifth Australian to claim Order of Merit honours on a major international tour, joining Karrie Webb, Greg Norman, and two other women, Corinne Dibnah and Karen Lunn, who won the money title on the then fledgling Ladies European Tour in 1991 and 1993 respectively.
Norman won the European Tour money list in 1982 with earnings of 92,968 euros before claiming three US PGA Tour money titles (1986, 1990 & 1995) while Webb collected a trio of money list wins on the LPGA tour (1996, 1999 & 2000).
Granted Jason Day and Adam Scott are playing against the deepest fields in golf in the US but they’ve never claimed the money crown despite career earnings in excess of US$$35,000,000 and US$45,000,000 respectively.
Scott - 3rd on the PGA Tour money list in 2006 and 2016 - has gone close while current world Number One Day has been the second highest money-earner on the US Tour in each of the past two seasons.
Hend can savour holding a major money title ahead of his more famous fellow Queenslanders.
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