After its successful first staging last year, the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth is back. Here’s everything you need to know about the stroke play meets match play event…
1. Brilliant Brett - Last year, Brett Rumford was truly dominant.
Teeing it up in his home town, the 40 year old was in imperious form throughout – he led by five shots after three rounds of stroke play and went on to win all his match play contests convincingly too.
With a 2 and 1 victory over Thai teenager Phachara Khongwatmai in the final, the Perth native lifted his sixth European Tour title and also became the sixth Australian to triumph on home soil.
Now back at home, the defending champion will once again be a formidable opponent.
2. Course records - Regularly ranked among the top golf courses in Australia, Lake Karrinyup Country Club has seen many record-breaking performances over the years.
When the event hosted the 2003 Johnnie Walker Classic, Ernie Els broke the European Tour record for the lowest winning 72-hole total in relation to par with a four-round total of 259 (-29). That total of 259 was only one shot behind the lowest winning total in European Tour history.
His fellow South African Major Champion, Retief Goosen, also put his name in the European Tour record books in 2002 at Lake Karrinyup. On his way to victory at the 2002 Johnnie Walker Classic, he achieved the largest 54-hole lead in European Tour history, which was 13 shots.
3. It’s a knockout - The innovative tournament is the only event in European Tour history which has featured a combination of match play and stroke play.
For the first 36 holes, 156 players will compete, with the top 65 and ties progressing after a cut. A further cut after round three will see the field size reduced to 24, with a sudden-death play-off taking place if required to reach this number.
The fourth and final round is a six-hole match play knockout format – the 24 players are eventually reduced down to two, from which the winner will be decided.
4. Beware of Thunderbear - Thorbjørn Olesen will hope for more success in Australia this week.
The Dane triumphed at Lake Karrinyup in 2014, soaring to a three-shot victory at the ISPS HANDA Perth International. He also partnered Søren Kjeldsen to claim Denmark’s first win in the World Cup of Golf in 2016, at Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne.
Back Down Under, Olesen will be targeting an Australian hat-trick.
5. Fantastic Mr Fox
Nobody arrives at Lake Karrinyup off the back of a better result than Ryan Fox. The New Zealander finished just three shots back at last week’s Maybank Championship to seal a tie for third.
It marks his best result since a summer surge in 2017 that saw him claim three straight top six finishes. An albatross on Saturday, the first of the season, moved him into a temporary share of the lead in Malaysia, but ultimately he fell just short.
He marginally missed out on a place in last year’s Sunday match play in Perth, but looks in the right form to set that right this time around.