Scott Hend wins Maybank playoff as Nacho Elvira left thunderstruck

Australian wins his third European Tour event after remarkable finish in Kuala Lumpur

 

Australia’s Scott Hend won his third European Tour title by beating Spain’s Nacho Elvira in a playoff following a remarkable finish to the Maybank Championship in Malaysia.

Play was suspended in the final round in Kuala Lumpur with the last group on the 18th green when a thunderstorm hit Saujana Golf and Country Club.

Elvira, who was a shot behind Hend at the time, was disturbed by a clap of thunder as he played his pitch to the closing par five and came up around 30 feet short of the flag.

Moments later play was suspended and when it eventually resumed after a delay of an hour and 40 minutes, Elvira holed his putt for an unlikely birdie to join Hend on 15 under par.

Hend was left with a putt to win from a similar distance but could not convert and the two players went into a sudden-death playoff to decide the winner.

After being allowed a short warm-up on the 10th tee, the leading duo returned to the 18th and Hend enjoyed a slice of luck when his drive hit the base of a tree and rebounded back into the fairway.

Elvira found a bunker off the tee and, after laying up, hit a mediocre approach and was unable to make birdie, but Hend got up and down from a greenside bunker to seal an eventful victory.

Hend, who carded back-to-back rounds of 67 over the weekend, said: “What a putt by Nacho, unbelievable. If I was to go out there and hit that putt, you’d probably hole it one in 10 times. It was an amazing putt and the situation he holed it in was awesome. All credit to him.

“I had a bit of luck on the playoff hole to win, you need luck to win and I was fortunate to have the luck today. Unfortunately for Nacho he was against the luck but his time’s going to come, he’s a great player and he’s going to win.”

Hend began the final round three shots behind Elvira, but raced to the turn in 31 and moved two shots clear with another birdie on the 13th, before Elvira halved his deficit with a birdie on the 16th.

Heavy rain began to fall with the last group on the 18th fairway and after Hend hit his third shot to around 30 feet, the thunder arrived at a most inopportune moment, much to the annoyance of Elvira’s fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, who criticised the European Tour for not suspending play sooner.

Elvira, who is yet to win on the European Tour, said: “It was thunder in a bad moment to be honest, but the gods give me one back.

“I think I played great all week, I’m very happy with that. I tried to give it all on the 18th hole (in the playoff). I just missed my drive a little bit and gave myself little chance to make birdie but I’m happy overall.”

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond finished two shots outside the playoff in outright third, with four-time Major champion Ernie Els three strokes further back in a tie for seventh, the 300th top 10 of his career.

The 49-year-old South African is the first player to reach the milestone since the inception of the world rankings in 1986.

Playing his first tournament since recovering from a wrist injury, Pádraig Harrington finished with his best round of the week, a three-under 69 moving the Ryder Cup captain to five under and a share of 30th position.

SCORES
(Britain and Ireland unless stated, par 72)
273
Scott Hend (Aus) 69 70 67 67(Hend won playoff at first hole), Nacho Elvira (Esp) 65 72 66 70

275 Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 66 72 68 69

276 Johannes Veerman (USA) 72 69 69 66

277 Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 71 67 68 71, Oliver Fisher 70 70 68 69

278 Andrew Sullivan 72 70 67 69, Ernie Els (Rsa) 68 70 69 71, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 72 72 66 68, Jordan Smith 74 68 71 65, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 69 73 65 71, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 76 65 71 66

279 Ross Fisher 72 71 66 70, David Lipsky (USA) 72 66 67 74

280 Nicholas Fung (Mal) 68 73 69 70, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 68 70 73 69, Siddikur Rahman (Ban) 70 71 68 71, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 71 69 72 68, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 69 70 73 68

281 Julian Suri (USA) 69 71 73 68, Jorge Campillo (Esp) 70 73 70 68, Louis De Jager (Rsa) 71 69 69 72, Matthew Southgate 74 69 68 70, S Chikkarangappa (Ind) 75 69 68 69

282 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 71 73 74 64, Lucas Herbert (Aus) 69 69 73 71, Terry Pilkadaris (Aus) 69 75 68 70, Angelo Que (Phl) 66 77 73 66, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 72 71 70 69

283 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 71 68 74 70, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 71 71 72 69, Gavin Green (Mal) 74 70 69 70, Pádraig Harrington 70 73 71 69, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 66 75 70 72, Paul Peterson (USA) 70 68 73 72

284 Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 73 69 72 70, Daniel James Masrin (Ina) 69 68 76 71, Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 72 70 71 71, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 71 73 70 70, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 69 74 70 71

285 Kurt Kitayama (USA) 70 71 72 72, S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind) 69 74 70 72, Guido Migliozzi (Esp) 71 68 73 73, Zack Murrary (Aus) 68 71 73 73, Renato Paratore (Ita) 73 71 73 68, Hyun-woo Ryu (Kor) 74 70 73 68, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 67 69 78 71

286 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 72 72 72 70, Prom Meesawat (Tha) 68 71 72 75, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 68 75 75 68, Ashun Wu (Chn) 71 73 73 69, Viraj Madappa (Ind) 70 72 70 74, George Coetzee (Rsa) 72 71 72 71, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 65 77 72 72

287 Robert Rock 73 71 72 71, Thomas Detry (Bel) 70 71 76 70

288 Min Chel Choi (Kor) 71 73 74 70, Chris Paisley 71 71 74 72, Min Woo Lee (Aus) 73 71 73 71

289 Jarin Todd (USA) 73 71 71 74, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 69 71 73 76, Wen-Tang Lin (Tpe) 73 70 74 72, Poom Saksansin (Tha) 68 74 76 71, Scott Vincent (Zim) 70 72 74 73, Lee Slattery 72 71 73 73

290 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 70 74 78 68, Richard McEvoy 70 74 73 73, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 68 74 74 74, Ajeetesh Sandhu (Ind) 72 72 72 74

291 Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 69 73 74 75, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (Tha) 72 69 74 76

292 David Law 73 71 74 74

294 Keith Horne (Rsa) 71 73 78 72

295 Micah Lauren Shin (USA) 74 70 77 74

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