Brett Rumford faces the unusual task of trying to defend his title in a different country to the one he won in at this week’s The Championship at Laguna National.
The Australian eagled the first play-off hole against compatriot Marcus Fraser and Scot Pete Whiteford last year in South Korea, with the tournament having switched to Singapore for the 2014 staging.
Rumford had an outstanding record at the two Korean venues previously used – finishing in the top 20 on all five appearances – but is looking forward to testing himself on a course that last staged a European Tour event seven years ago.
The 36 year old said: “As far as the feelings coming into the week: no matter where it is – the China Open was also held in a different location – it is nice to defend.
“Obviously it is a shame that it’s not back at a course where I won, but I’ve played well around here before and I’m looking forward to it.
“The course in Korea really suited my game and I really enjoyed it. There were plenty of birdies to be made and it was a wedges golf course.
“The emphasis wasn’t on driving in Korea. This is a different course, but it is my second week back before the run heading into Europe.
“I’ve not played that much this year, so this is a stepping stone. It’s great to defend, but this is probably more a case of warming up and getting match practice in.
“I think it was 2007 that we last played here so it has been a while, but with the technology changes it is playing a lot shorter and the rough is not as long
“I always remember this being a tough test of your driving ability; it was a driver’s golf course.
“The greens being so grainy and firm and fast, there was a premium on hitting the fairway.
“From what I’ve seen the rough is cut down and it is a bit more playable so the emphasis of getting the ball in play is not as great, but there is a lot of sand and a lot of water out there, so you have to drive fairly well. But it is playing considerably shorter.”