One day, five rounds of matches, six holes. The final round of the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth is like no other Sunday in golf. Following the regulation 36-hole cut on Friday, a second has been made on Saturday, leaving a 24-man field to take part in a match play Sunday at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
The top eight players in Perth, including leader Prom Meesawat, have earned a bye into the next round, by which time the remaining 16 players will have already taken on the Super 6 holes in their first round of match play. The Super 6 holes are part of the existing course setup, comprising the 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 12th and 18th holes in that order.
Ahead of play the final day, europeantour.com takes a closer look at the six holes that will determine the destiny of the trophy.
10th hole – Par 4 – 369 yards
Positioned just behind the Lake Karrinyup clubhouse, the tenth asks players to play downhill towards the green. Before players can reach the putting surface, however, they must carefully negotiate a left-hand fairway bunker that juts into the middle of the hole. Driver will certainly be in the minds of many of the players, but may bring into play that fairway bunker. The hole is certainly a birdie opportunity, with more birdies made here than on 80 per cent of the par fours on tour last season.
11th hole – Par 5 – 553 yards
The 11th is the first of the holes on the back nine that highlights just how hilly this course is. Once off the tee, players face a steep walk uphill to their second shot, which will need to have avoided a bunker positioned in the middle of the fairway. Despite the threat of the sand trap, this is statistically the easiest Green in Regulation on the course, with 88 per cent of players hitting the green in three and six per cent hitting it in two. Only seven per cent of players make bogey or worse here, a reassuring figure for any player who loses the opening hole of their match play encounter.
13th hole – Par 4 – 453 yards
Another of the course’s uphill holes, players will take on a blind tee shot at the 13th. The hole, like many at Lake Karrinyup, will favour a right-to-left first shot, however, Mike Clayton, who redesigned the course, set the green up with a fade in mind for right handers when it comes to the approach. The green is protected by two bunkers either side. Only 13 per cent of players record birdies here, making it one of the trickier of the Super 6 holes. It wasn’t part of the Sunday showdown last year, but its challenging nature means its inclusion will surely add an extra degree of spice.
Backing onto the beautiful lake, the 14th is a relatively straight short par four. A diagonal fairway bunker sits short of the green, bringing a seed of doubt into the minds of those players aiming to carry the trap. The numbers show, however, that the hole will offer up a good chance to make birdie. Over the years, it’s proved the easiest fairway to hit, with 82 per cent of players doing just that. There were more birdies or better recorded here than on 87 per cent of the par fours played on tour in 2017. This may represent another opportunity for any player trailing in the Sunday shootout to get back into the match.
12th hole – Par 3 – 148 yards
Like the 10th hole, this par three plays downhill and will provide a welcome shift in perspective after two uphill holes. It may be one of the shortest holes on any of the Australian Championship courses, but a small green attempts to counteract what it lacks in distance. Last year, this hole proved one of the easiest par threes on tour, with more birdies or better than 83 per cent of the others. In fact, ahead of the final day in the 2017 edition, none of the remaining 24 players had a worse cumulative score than par on this hole.
18th hole – Par 4 – 444 yards
One of the toughest is saved for last. For any matches that go the distance, players will have to prepare for another blind tee shot at the 18th. Traditionally, it’s the fourth lowest hit fairway on the course, with another right-to-left shot required. The resulting approach will need to take into account the four bunkers protecting the putting surface and, once within iron-distance, players will also need to consider the fact that the green has two-tiers. If the pin is positioned at the back of the green on Sunday, they will have to be wary of the ball running back down if they leave it a little short. Last year it ranked as the fourth hardest hole of the week during the first three rounds and historically players have averaged over two putts per GIR. It could be a grandstand finish.