Hend took five weeks off after the Hero Indian Open, an event he played a week after injuring himself while in Queenstown for the NZ Open in early March and last week showed improved form with a 14th place finish in Italy.
In typical Hend fashion he is on the move again, this week playing the Asian Tour event in which he finished 6th last year.
Hend is one of the most successful international golfers on the Asian Tour. He has won nine Asian Tour titles, three of those in Thailand. He is also the first Australian to win the Order of Merit crown.
“My back is starting to feel better,” said the 44 year old this week. “I’m starting to feel the golf club a bit better. It is just a matter of getting some confidence. It is always difficult for anybody from any sport to have an injury and not play for a long time. It is a slow process.
“I had a bulging disc in my back. I hurt it in New Zealand and tried to play in India. Then I went home to see my physiotherapist and chiropractor and decided to have an MRI.
“It is not a golf injury but probably from go-karting. I had the longest break in my 20-year golf career because I didn’t touch a club in five weeks.”
“It is a tough thing for me to be on a break. I’m the sort of person who wants to play every single week so for me not to play and practice was excruciating. This is like a home course to me. When I’m in Asia, I practice and play here. The golf course, in my opinion is one of the best in the region.
Hend’s last win came at the Queen’s Cup in Thailand two years ago and later that year he reached an all time high of 59th in the world. There have been good finishes since, the most notable when runner-up at the Omega European Masters and now, getting back to full fitness, he will be targeting the sort of form he displayed back then.
He has currently slipped to 198th in the world but at his best he is capable of competing and contending at any level.
“No, my game is not 100% but we are getting there,” added Hend. “It is a long season and we are only half way there.”
SWING LIKE JON RAHM
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