Golf | Hend sees off local rally to take Thailand Classic

Bangkok – Australia’s Scott Hend scraped through to victory at the True Thailand Classic Sunday, seeing off a remarkable final-day charge from local favourite Piya Swangarunporn.

Hend began the day looking the clear favourite and six shots ahead of the rest of the pack.

But that lead rapidly diminished as Piya, a relative unknown with a world ranking of just 798, blazed around the Black Mountain course in Hua Hin with a series of stellar birdies and long puts.

The Thai went on to set a course record nine-under-par 63 but it was not quite enough to topple the Australian.

A birdie on the 14th put Hend back in the lead and he managed to hold his nerve for the last four holes, ending the day on 68 and one shot ahead of the Thai upstart.

The win could see Hend move up into the top 80 in the world rankings. It is his second European Tour victory after he took the Hong Kong Open in 2014.

Belgium’s Thomas Pieters finished the tournament in third, with America’s Peter Uihlein, the first-day victor, settling for fourth followed by Sweden’s Pelle Edberg.

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