Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Unlikely Pairing Adds Local Touch

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Unlikely Pairing Adds Local Touch

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

With the help of a family friend, Ponte Vedra Beach resident Scott Hend is in contention at the U.S. Open.

Hend, an Australian, lost his PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour status two years ago and has been playing in Asia, Europe and his native country. But he qualified for the Open at a sectional in Columbus, Ohio, and Thursday shot 2-under-par 69 in the first round at the Congressional Country Club, tied for fourth and four shots behind leader Rory McIlroy.

Hend was 2-over when he made the turn from the back nine to the front. He then birdied No. 1 and made consecutive birdies at Nos. 6, 7 and 8.

He hit only four fairways.

"I scrambled," he told the media after the round. "That's what matters in the U.S. Open, is if you can scramble. Hopefully I can produce a few better shots [today] and I won't have as much pressure."

On his bag for the sectional and at Congressional was Judith Coleman, a friend of Hend's and his wife Leanne. …

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