Olympic Video games golfer Scott Hend denies claims he’s a “sexist elitist”, however refuses to budge on his choice to skip subsequent month’s dual-gender Australian Open.
Hend has returned residence for the primary time since 2019 to play on this week’s Queensland PGA at Nudgee and subsequent week’s Australian PGA at Royal Queensland.
Nonetheless, the 49-year-old Queenslander received’t keep for the next week’s Australian Open on the Victoria and Kingston Heath golf equipment as a result of he believes women and men shouldn’t be taking part in in the identical occasion.
Will probably be the primary nationwide open by which ladies will play alongside males. Equal prizemoney of $1.7 million will probably be on provide, as properly separate trophies for the female and male gamers.
“I’ve already been known as a ‘sexist elitist’, which I’m not,” Hend stated.
“My actual phrases had been I consider the Australian Open is such a prestigious occasion, the ladies and the lads deserve their very own week for the occasion.
“It’s nothing about being towards ladies taking part in golf, it’s nothing about prizemoney being precisely the identical … it’s simply concerning the occasion having the historical past of how lengthy the occasion (has been going for, that) each women and men ought to have their very own week to shine.
“That’s all I’ve stated, and that’s what I firmly consider in. In order that being the case, I haven’t entered to play, I’m not going to attempt to pre-qualify … as a result of I nonetheless consider that each women and men ought to have their very own week to face out and shine by themselves, not collectively, when individuals are going to match them towards one another within the one event.
“That’s not what the Australian Open is all about.”
In the course of the week of the Australian Open, the well-travelled Hend – who represented Australia on the 2016 Rio Olympics – will compete within the Asian Tour’s Indonesian Masters.
After a number of seasons on the European Tour, now often called the DP World Tour, United States-based Hend will subsequent yr contest the Asian Tour, on which he has received 10 occasions.
“I’m achieved with Europe, I’m achieved with the politics, I’m achieved with the mendacity to gamers, I’m achieved with having to ask for a launch after I wish to go play in different tournaments,” he stated.
“For the final 25 years I’ve performed the place I need, after I need and I haven’t needed to ask for permission to go to play one other occasion.
“Now … if you wish to taking part in in one other place, it’s worthwhile to get permission from that tour, in any other case they’re going to sanction you, so if that’s going to be the case, I don’t wish to be concerned in that anymore.
“I play golf as a result of I really like taking part in golf. I don’t wish to should get permission each week to go play some place else.”
Hend hopes “some place else” might be Greg Norman’s profitable LIV Tour, which subsequent yr will embrace an occasion in Adelaide in April.
“I’m 50 in August. Individuals say I’m washed up, I’m achieved, I’ve acquired nothing left, but when I can produce what I do know I can produce, I can presumably qualify (for the LIV occasions) via the Asian Tour,” he stated.
“If I had the chance to go to play (on the LIV Tour), positive I’d be there. I’d don’t have any hesitation about it.”