Australian Scott Hend upstaged four-time major winner Ernie Els by firing a brilliant eight-under-par 63 to take a four-shot lead after the third round of the Asian Tour’s Macau Open yesterday.
Hend fired seven birdies and an eagle in his round for a 12-under total of 201 to open up a big gap on Els and Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman in tied second.
Hend had opened the tournament with a 74, but a 64 in Friday’s second round vaulted him up the leaderboard and his good work yesterday put him within reach of his third win of the year.
“I’ve set my goals I want to achieve. If I hit my targets, that’s all I can ask. If somebody else goes out and shoots 61 tomorrow, and I don’t shoot a good enough round, then well done to them,” Hend told the Asian Tour. “I can only control myself and what I do and that’s all I can ask of myself.”
Els also began the event slowly, but a second-round 65 put him back in contention. A birdie on the 18th meant he signed for a two-under 69 yesterday and will feature in the final group with Hend and Siddikur.
Taiwan’s Hung Chien-yao was tied for 12th on four-under, with compatriot Chan Yih-shin tied for 28th on one-under. Another Taiwanese, Lin Wen-tang, was a shot further back in tied 32nd.
Additional reporting by staff writer