HONG KONG, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Scott Hend, deemed the PGA Asian Tour's most successful international golfer, is set to lend his star credentials to the Sarawak Championship, which will return for its second edition on the region's premier tour in a fortnight's time.
Hend, the first Australian to lift the Asian Tour Order of Merit crown in 2016, will be looking for another successful run in Malaysia when he makes his debut appearance in the 300,000-U.S.-dollar event, slated to take place at the Damai Golf and Country Club in Kuching from August 15 to 18.
The 45-year-old had earlier claimed his 10th Asian Tour victory and his first in three years in Malaysia in March. That victory saw him clear 5 million U.S. dollars in career earnings on the Asian Tour, becoming its second highest-earning player after Thai star Thongchai Jaidee.
Hend, who claimed all his 10 victories in Asia, is also the fourth player after Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant (18), Thongchai (13) and Prayad Marksaeng (10) to obtain 10 wins or more on the Asian Tour.
"After winning the 2016 Order of Merit, I thought it would be great if, at some stage, I got the chance to contend for the title again. It will be an exciting battle with Jazz [Janewattananond] playing well and my drive to try and win the title again.
"The Sarawak Championship will be the start of a busy stretch for me and I hope to close the gap on Jazz with a good result there," said Hend, who broke through in Indonesia in 2008 before claiming eight titles in four years from 2012.
Sitting in second place on the current Asian Tour Order of Merit, the big-hitting Hend will have another shot at chasing for the Merit crown, as he aims to close the gap on leader Jazz of Thailand with a fine showing in Sarawak.
"2019 has been a year of recovery for me. I was injured last year and have been working hard to get back some form. It was nice to win in Malaysia and prove to myself that all the hard work is worth the trouble and sacrifice," Hend added.
The Australian will spearhead a talented group alongside four-time Asian Tour winner Jazz, including India's Shiv Kapur, Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines, the U.S.'s Micah Lauren Shin and Sadom Kaewkanjana of Thailand.
The Sarawak Championship will see a total of 156 players from 22 countries and regions vying for top honors at the full-field Asian Tour event, which will be the Tour's second stop in Malaysia this season.