Mike Hendry back to where it began

North Harbour professional Michael Hendry believed winning the Muriwai Open in 2010 "opened the floodgates" on the potential on his golf career.

The 32-year-old, who won the title two years ago by sinking a five foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win by one shot from good mate Richard Lee, returns to the ask>metro Muriwai Open this week as the favourite to secure his fourth title on the Charles Tour.

Hendry's most recent achievement of note was winning the New Zealand PGA Pro Am at The Hills but the season which shot him to international prominence in 2010 began at the West Auckland links.

"The win in 2010 here was the start of great run of golf for the remainder of the year," said Hendry, who now plays full time on the OneAsia Tour.

"The confidence I gained from winning here was huge. After winning here, I went up to Korea and had a great finish there coming fifth, which gave me more confidence and then I went onto win the Indonesia Open which was the best season of my career so far. I have built from that moment.
There have been other wins over the years but in terms of the floodgates opening this was it."

Hendry will face stiff competition from former European Tour pro Mark Brown, in-form rookie professional Ryan Fox, Tauranga pro Jared Pender and the most recent winner on the Charles Tour David Klein for the $40,000 purse.

The New Zealand No.3, at 460 in the world, said it was good to be back on a course where he played learning the game as a young golfer.

"Muriwai is a great golf course and I have played so much golf here over the years that it's a place that I have a real affinity with. I really enjoy courses that throw up all sorts of conditions, hopefully the rain stays away, but if the wind gets up it should be good fun."

The former Auckland cricket rep admits that there is pressure coming in as a "˜name' player on the Charles Tour but the past few years have prepared him for that.

"People expect me to do quite well and I expect myself to do pretty well with the number of times I have played around here and getting to sleep
in my own bed which just doesn't happen. Hopefully I can go out there and live up to other people's expectations and my own."

Hendry credits the Charles Tour with teaching him how to win. Now a few years down the track winning isn't the be-all, end all but being competitive and gearing up his game is the focus.

"A few years ago I was playing in these events because these were the events I could play in but now I play in these events to prepare for bigger events overseas which is exactly what the Charles Tour was designed for.

"It is all about playing on good golf courses, in tournament conditions and taking your golf to a higher level and that is exactly what they have done for me. I love coming back and playing them. It is not so much about winning them to further my career now it is more about getting myself ready for bigger tournaments overseas. If I can play them when I am home then I will."

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