Hendry hurries to make Australian Open

Last updated 22:22 06/12/2012
Mike Hendry
IAIN MCGREGOR/The Press
UP FRONT: New Zealand golfer Michael Hendry.

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They didn't challenge for the lead but just getting to the tee was an achievement in itself for five golfers who made a frantic dash from Japan to arrive just in time for the Australian Open. 

New Zealander Mike Hendry, Ryan Haller, Adam Bland, Aaron Townsend and Paul Spargo arrived at The Lakes on Thursday afternoon with only minutes to spare before a round they feared they may not get to play at one stage. 

The quintet had been competing at the the Japan Golf Tour Qualifying School and, knowing they'd have to stay for a seminar on Wednesday, were always going to be cutting it fine. 

But a two-hour delayed flight and a further 45 minutes spent on the tarmac in Japan threw their travel plans into chaos and made it look as though they'd miss out. 

Fortunately Hendry's wife Tara, a travel agent, was able to work a miracle and organised a charter flight from Gold Coast that allowed them to arrive in the nick of time. 

Spargo was the best performed of the late arrivals, carding an impressive two-under 70 ahead of Hendry (72), Bland (75), Townsend (75) and Haller (76). 

All were looking forward to a well-earned rest and a less frantic arrival on Friday. 

"It was pretty stressful," Hendry said. 

"We'd go through little panic attacks. Four of us would be fine and one of us would be losing their marbles all at different times. 

"We were pretty upset about it because we'd worked so hard to try and get an opportunity to maybe do the seminar at a different time because we really wanted to play this event 

"We just wanted to get back and we were thinking we wouldn't be able to play." 

Hendry admitted it took time to settle into a rhythm after arriving only half an hour before his scheduled tee time and was gutted at two late bogies that cost him a top ten position. 

"If I'd just managed to grab a couple of pars on a pretty tough golf course, and after everything I've had to go through to get here, I'd have been really satisfied with that." 

"I'm looking forward to getting some sleep and hopefully tomorrow I'll play as well as I did today but a few more bounces will go my way."

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- AAP

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