Queensland’s Scott Hend will start Friday’s second round of the World City Championship two strokes off the lead following a blistering finish to his opening round at Hong Kong Golf Club.
A winner of the Hong Kong Open at the venue in 2014, Hend birdied his final three holes on Thursday to post five-under 65, two strokes back of Miguel Tabuena (63) and one back of Hong Kong local Taichi Kho (64).
Hend, who is still struggling with an upset tummy that he picked up in New Delhi last week, is adjusting to the different putting surfaces presented by a change in the schedule.
With four spots to The Open on offer this week as part of the Open Qualifying Series, Hend knows he needs to make the adjustment if he is to add to his 10 career victories on the Asian Tour.
“The golf course is playing a little different to what we are used to, just got to be a bit patient and figure the greens out,” Hend explained.
“Felt like I had a better handle on them on the second nine.
“It’s in between growth season so the leaf on the greens is different from when we play in November when it’s quite a tight nap and they are quite fast.
“At the moment it’s more of a nappy sort of a green but they are still pretty quick but it’s a different break, need to pick different lines.
“Condition wise the course is magnificent.”
Hend is not the only Aussie well placed heading into Round 2.
Kevin Yuan is in a share of fourth at four-under par, followed a shot further back by John Lyras and Kiwi Ben Campbell at three-under and tied for eighth.
Vic Open champion Michael Hendry is at two-under with Brett Coletta, Jack Thompson, Wade Ormsby, Deyen Lawson and Terry Pilkadaris all posting rounds of one-under 69 on day one.
Stephanie Kyriacou’s four-under 68 has her in a share of 12th late in the first round of the LPGA Drive On Championship in Florida, fellow Sydneysider Grace Kim shooting 70 in her first round as a member of the LPGA Tour.
Brett Drewitt is in a share of 31st at two-under at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Club Car Championship and Greg Chalmers’ round of even-par 72 is the best of the Aussies at the PGA TOUR Corales Puntacana Championship in the Dominican Republic.