Our press officer brings you all of the action from down under at the inaugural ISPS Handa Perth International.
Greetings from Down Under
After a couple of weeks on the European mainland, we head east this week for the inaugural ISPS Handa Perth International. It’s been three years since the European Tour was last in Australia so it’s great to be back in this wonderful country. For your correspondent, it is my first time here and it has more than lived up to expectations so far. We’ve had a warm Western Australian welcome so far, including a special guided tour of this wonderful city by Ryan Zaknich, who runs walking tours company two feet and a heartbeat (www.twofeet.com.au). Ryan gave us an overview of Perth’s history, from its beginnings to the present day when the area is, due to its wealth of natural resources, bucking the global trend and enjoying a period of prosperity. There is plenty of development going on around the Swan River with several new hotels and bars in the pipeline, and while historically there has always been a sense of isolationism due to the city’s geography, it is a wonderful place to visit.
Greg Chalmers, one of the home hopefuls, was among the many players to speak glowingly about our host city this week. He said: “There's so much more to the city when you have lived here and you know it with the water and the fishing the restaurants and everything that it has to offer to someone who is prepared to travel down here and take the time to come see it. I think it will showcase fantastically on TV and I hope it translates into some dollars for the tourism industry. There's a lot to be said for this city, because it is one of the greatest, most isolated cities in the world. It's fantastic."
Australia is famous for its wildlife and for the golf fan who is keen on spotting the odd native animal or too around the course there is plenty for the cameras here at Lake Karrinyup. Venture out on to the course and you are likely to see the odd kangaroo or two bounding about like Martin Kaymer after sinking the winning putt at the Ryder Cup. Of course, for the non-Australians among us, we are all keen to see a roo or two, as well as the odd koala, particularly Jason Dufner who has travelled across from America. The tournament organisers have decided to arrange for staff from nearby Caversham Wildlife Park to bring a little koala to the course after the first round to meet Jason and Charl Schwartzel. So stay tuned for pictures. Incidentally in his last European Tour appearance, in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, a dog ran on the course and pinched Paul Casey’s ball. I wonder if a roo might do the same this week.