Hend in EPGA victory after playoff, storm

Australia's Scott Hend was forced to wait for a thunderstorm to pass before claiming victory in the European tour golf event in Kuala Lumpur.

24-Mar-2019 By Australian Associated Press
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Australian Scott Hend beat Spanish overnight leader Nacho Elvira with a birdie on the first playoff hole to win the co-sanctioned $3 million Maybank Championship after wild weather triggered a dramatic finish on Sunday.

Hend was leading Elvira by a single stroke with the leading pair on the final fairway when torrential rain started falling on the Saujana Golf and Country Club.

The first crack of thunder came as Elvira hit his approach shot to the 18th green and, with lightning flashing around them, the players were forced off the course before either could attempt a putt.

They returned after a delay of 100 minutes and Elvira nailed his birdie putt from 30 feet for a two-under-par 70 to tie the scores at 15-under 273 and force the playoff.

"What a putt by Nacho... it was fantastic," Hend told reporters.

"If I was to go out there and hit that putt you would say you would hole it one in 10 times. It was an amazing putt, and in the situation he holed it."

Hend looked in trouble when he landed in a greenside bunker on the first playoff hole but it was his turn to celebrate minutes later when he landed a four-footer after his opponent's birdie putt had stopped just short of the hole.

It was a third European Tour and 10th Asian Tour title for the big hitting 45-year-old, who spent two years on the PGA Tour from 2004.

"Obviously I had a bit of luck on the playoff hole. If you don't have any luck you won't win," Hend said.

Hend, who started the round three shots behind the Spaniard, had made all the running on another day of stifling heat in the Malaysian capital with six birdies and a single bogey as he hit a 67 for the second day in a row.

"I felt like I played fantastic on the back nine. I nearly holed a lot of putts, just missing," Hend said.

"I just had to keep my head on and stay patient. The worst case scenario was a playoff."

Elvira, who led by two shots coming into the final round, had never really got going but a birdie at the 16th finally put him under par for the day, and a shot behind Hend overall, to set up the late drama.


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