Scott Hend claims Maybank Championship on first playoff hole


Kuala Lumpur (AFP)

Australia's Scott Hend won the Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur Sunday, edging Spain's Nacho Elvira in a sensational playoff after tropical thunderstorms halted play for two hours.

Rain hit the course in the final round at the Saujana Golf and Country Club with the last group on the 18th green.

Hend had looked the favourite after posting six birdies to take a single shot lead heading into the final hole, but the deluge precipitated a resurgence by overnight leader Elvira.

The Spaniard sensationally drove home a 30 foot birdie to match Hend's 15-under-par 273 after the restart of play.

Hend kept his cool to find the fairway in the first extra hole, paving the way for a birdie and the win.

"I was injured last year and it has been a while since I had a win. I'm just trying to soak it all up and remember what it feels like," Hend, who pocketed $500,000 for his triumph, told reporters.

"It was a fantastic putt... I'm a grinder and a fighter. So is my caddie Tony. We both have the same mental attitude," the 46-year-old added.

"It doesn't matter how old we are, we work hard at what we do."

Victory eased the heartache of Hend's two European playoff losses at the Omega European Masters in 2016 and 2017.

Elvira, 32, left the tournament still searching for an elusive European Tour title.

American David Lipsky, who started the day in second, faltered with three bogeys and a double bogey for a 74 to finish tied at 13th.

Four-time Major winner Ernie Els also saw his title charge derailed after he only managed a 71 to finish tied at seventh.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington finished the tournament with his best round of the competition, rattling off three birdies in the final three holes for a 69 and a share of 30th place.