New Zealand Open: Hendry: “I’m not intimidated..."
Wednesday February 26, 2014
New Zealand Open: Hendry: “I’m not intimidated by anyone in the field”
Michael Hendry is trying to treat this week’s New Zealand Open like any other tournament.
The 34-year-old North Harbour pro, who has won the NZ PGA Championship the past two years at The Hills, is the Kiwi favourite heading into the National Open at The Hills and Millbrook.
The Japan Tour pro, who has been the most talked about player in the build-up to the event, is looking forward to continuing his love affair with The Hills in tomorrow’s opening round of the PGA Tour of Australasia event that carries a purse of NZ$900,000.
“There is a certain level of pressure you put on yourself because you know you can play pretty well around this golf course but you’ve just got to go into it like it’s any other tournament,” said Hendry.
“Personally I don’t come into every event thinking I am going to win this week simply because I have a good record or I have been playing well previously.”
Hendry said winning both the New Zealand Open and the New Zealand PGA Championship, to put his name among the NZ greats, would be a huge honour.
“It would be nice to have both of the titles, the NZPGA and the NZ Open, and it’d be even better to have both trophies at the same time,” he said.
“It’s certainly a career goal and whether this happens this year or on the future, who knows? Eventually by the time I do retire I want this one on my CV though.”
He believed that half the field in Queenstown could compete with the best players in the world.
“There’s no one here I feel intimidated by, I am just going to go out there and do the job and know that there are other guys out there who can do the job on the day as well, if not better.”
Hendry will play alongside American Rocco Mediate, Rebel Sport CEO Rod Duke and former Black Cap Mark Richardson in the first two rounds.
He said it is great to come back to Queenstown to relive his good memories of his successes here.
“It feels like I’m coming back to defend my title again, even though I’m not. Knowing I have had such success on this course brings back a lot of good feelings and I feel comfortable straight away; I know how to play and how to win on this golf course.”
Hendry said the key to scoring well at The Hills was a well thought-out strategy.
“It is a very positional course so generally you just put yourself in front of the tee and attack the flags and go from there. A few you tend to leave alone. It’s not a course you over power with too much distance or you’ll get yourself into a bit of trouble. It certainly suits my style of play.”
The 94th staging of the New Zealand Open begins tomorrow in Queenstown.