The 43 year old, winner of the True Thailand Classic Presented by Chang last March, was at one point three shots ahead after he opened with a birdie three at the challenging first hole, before three consecutive birdies from the sixth took him to the turn in four under.
He picked up two more shots at the tenth and 15th but a bogey at the last left him on a 13 under total, with Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Champion Alex Noren just one back after the Swede signed for a four under par 66 and a 12 under total.
Englishman Richard Bland was two shots further back on ten under par after a one under 69, while his compatriot Andrew Johnston (68), Finland’s Mikko Ilonen (68), Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares (68) and Frenchman Romain Langasque (68) were all a shot further back on nine under par.
“I played really nice golf,” said Hend. “I left a few shots out there but made a couple of par saves which made up for it. It was unfortunate on 18 when my ball managed to run between the bunkers down the cart path. It is a tough driving hole and I didn’t get it into the spot I wanted to.
“One shot clear is better than none. I just want to play solid golf again and hopefully hole some more putts and see where we ended up. Hopefully Alex (Noren) and I can forge ahead and create a gap between us and the field and battle it out on the back nine.
“The weather is awesome and the crowds are always great here in the weekend. I should have won more. I had chances to win more but I’ve only won twice. I’m hungry to win more than twice or three times or more than four.
“I want to win as many times as I can. You have to get into position to win all the time and if it comes a point when you can’t win so be it. I enjoy the occasion and that’s why I play golf for.
Richard Green slipped off the pace he shared through 54 holes and now finds himself five shots behind Hend's lead while Marcus Fraser is another shot further back.
197 S Hend (Aus) 65 67 65,
198 A Noren (Swe) 69 63 66,
200 R Bland (Eng) 67 64 69,
201 A Johnston (Eng) 65 68 68, A Cañizares (Esp) 69 64 68, M Ilonen (Fin) 66 67 68, R Langasque (Fra) 68 63 70,
202 D Drysdale (Sco) 70 68 64, R Green (Aus) 65 66 71, F Fritsch (Ger) 67 69 66,
203 C Shinkwin (Eng) 66 68 69, M Fraser (Aus) 65 69 69, J Morrison (Eng) 65 70 68, L Haotong (Chn) 65 70 68, A Levy (Fra) 68 67 68, J Hansen (Den) 65 68 70, G Storm (Eng) 66 69 68,
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