Tuesday, 06 February 2018
Brett Rumford  (Getty Images)
Brett Rumford (Getty Images)

Home favourite Brett Rumford is delighted to be defending a European Tour title again as he prepares to tee it up at this week's ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth.

The Perth native created one of the strories of the season in 2017 when, after losing his playing privileges the previous campaign, he produced an emphatic performance to lead after all three days of stroke play and then take the title on a history-making Sunday.

That was his sixth European Tour title but first since the 2013 season when he won twice en route to a career-high finish of 17th on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.

The innovative final day with its five-rounds of match play returns at Lake Karrinyup Country Club and with Rumford clearly comfortable with both the format and his surroundings, he is enjoying the trappings of being a home champion.

"I think pretty much it's your name goes from Rummy to defending champion," he said. "Everyone just seems to give you that title for the week, which is pretty cool.

"Maybe they're just trying to put a bit more pressure on me but it feels good. It's always nice coming back to defend a title. Unfortunately, I haven't done it enough in my career.

"After missing my card last year there was definitely a greater incentive to win this week but there's winning and there's also winning in front of your home state as well.

"That put greater pressure on me as well, so there's a lot of factors that I was really proud of for winning last year.

"This year I feel as though there's definitely a bit more pressure off the shoulders and I can just go out and just play. Hopefully my best golf can prevail again."

Rumford's dominance in 2017 was total as he led by five shots after the 54 holes of stroke play but he insists he does not have to do that again and it is all to play for once the knockout rounds begin.

If I can replicate what I did last year in terms of my form coming into this event, then I'll give myself another good chance of winning - Brett Rumford

"You've just got to get your foot in the door," he said. "Once the match play rounds begin, it's a bit like tennis; you're not playing 154 other players all of a sudden, you're just playing five rounds and you've got a championship.

"It's five individual players as well, so you've just got to take one match at a time, one player at a time and just chip away at it.

"I'm not taking anything from last year. I played great golf and if I can replicate what I did last year in terms of my form coming into this event, then I'll give myself another good chance of winning.

"Every player in this event, once the match play begins, is a threat. Six holes match play, if you get off to a slow start or someone gets off to a fast start - which every single player in this field is capable of doing - then you're on the back foot."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MEESAWAT, PromTHA18-12
T2CROCKER, SeanUSA18-10
T2HERBERT, LucasAUS18-10
T2OLESEN, ThorbjørnDEN18-10
T5PAPADATOS, DimitriosAUS18-8
T5KENNEDY, BradAUS18-8

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