European Tour

Rumford relaxed ahead of Perth title defence

2018-02-06 11:44
Brett Rumford (Getty Images)

Cape Town - 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 World Super 6 Perth.

The Perth native created one of the stories 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.

"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," said Rumford.

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.

"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," he said.

"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."

Englishman Lee Westwood is breaking new ground this week in Perth as he prepares to tee it up for the first time at the innovative event, with the PGA of Australia on Tuesday announcing the introduction of PGA Open Mic, an initiative that will see Australasia players interact live with the commentary team as they play their round.

Westwood is playing in his 25th season on Tour with 23 wins from 515 appearances helping make him world No 1, Europe's top player twice and bringing him seven Ryder Cup wins from ten times representing his continent.

With Westwood's prowess in both formats of the game unquestionable, he arrives in Western Australia as one of the favourites and is raring to get a new challenge under way.

"I heard a lot about the format as well, sounds like an interesting format. I do well at stroke play and match play, so it's nice to see somebody use their initiative and combine the two. I watched a little bit on TV last year and it looks like an exciting format," said the Englishman.

He narrowly missed the cut in Abu Dhabi and Dubai but finished in a tie for 11th at last week's Maybank Championship, with a sensational 62 on Friday putting him right in contention for European Tour win No 24.

"It seems like quite a fast format this week, I think it's a format where you've got to adopt a more aggressive approach. It's no good edging your way in. I think you've got to come out as fast as you can and obviously make the cut on Friday night, but then getting in that top 24, so you might as well be aggressive and go for everything," said Westwood.

Read more on:    european tour  |  golf


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