Hend aims to justify top billing
Australia's Scott Hend attempts to live up to his star billing when he tees off at the inaugural Volvik Hildesheim Open J Golf Series in Jecheon, South Korea, on Thursday.
"It was a bit of a shock when I walked in this morning and saw my face on the posters and publicity boards." said Hend on Wednesday. "It's nice but you know what, you still have to do what you have to do and perform well."
Hend ended a four-year title drought at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic in April but has struggled since. "Hopefully I can rebound from the last three weeks of just playing below average golf," he said.
Thaworn Wiratchant could be the man to beat after his record-equalling 13th Tour success at the Queen's Cup in Koh Samui, Thailand, last week.
But the Thai star, who matched his countryman Thongchai Jaidee's record of 13 Asian Tour victories, was in a relaxed mood on Wednesday.
"I'm well into my 40s already and I'm just happy to be playing golf," Wiratchant, 45, said. "While records are nice to have, I prefer to concentrate on my game and enjoy myself."
Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman is looking to bounce back from losing the lead to Wiratchant with just four holes to play last week when his putting deserted him.
The 27-year-old – the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour in 2010 – is hoping to cap a fine season with victory at the hilly Hildesheim Country Club layout.
"I've been playing well since the start of the season," said Siddikur, who has enjoyed three top-five finishes and is yet to miss a cut in 2012.
Singapore's Mardan Mamat is using this week as preparation for his crack at the British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes next month.
Mardan, who won a three-way playoff in Asian qualifying to secure a place in the third major of the season, said: "This event will provide me with the competitive edge going into next month's British Open."
The $300 000 Volvik Hildesheim Open is jointly sanctioned by the Asian and Korean Tours.