All in great shape for Australia’s richest golf event
Published: Oct 17, 2012 10:20:53 PM Updated: Mar 27, 2013 11:38:20 AM
They’ve played the course, acclimatised to the conditions, and each have different reasons for playing, but the local and international players leading the charge at tomorrow’s ISPS HANDA Perth International, all agreed the course was in terrific condition and they can’t wait to get out there and play.
England’s Paul Casey said it was great to be back in Perth and felt he was now fit and injury free after an injury-blighted season. “The goal is to get out there, make a ton of birdies and go out and enjoy myself and have a great time and enjoy the crowds on a great golf course.”
Bo Van Pelt from the US has had a slower start to his practice than planned with his clubs not arriving at the same time as him, but felt he was relaxed and ready to play.
“I didn’t have a chance to play any holes yesterday but I know the golf course is in great shape. I came out and practiced for a couple of hours this morning and things feel good. I’m excited for tomorrow.
“I finished the season on a pretty high note and felt like I was pretty consistent. I’ve been practicing the last couple of weeks, and had my coach in town last week from Tulsa just to make sure my game was in pretty good shape before I came over.”
Reigning Australian Open champion Greg Chalmers was excited to come back to Perth toplay.
“The last time I played in Perth it would have been maybe ’96, ’97. I really feel like this is where my career started. All of my major opportunities in my career when I was young came from here. My family lives here, my wife’s family lives here, so that’s a large part of the reason why I’m back.
He said a further reason for his decision to return to his hometown to play, which was delayed due to recovery from a recent hernia operation, was to improve his World Ranking.
“I think to cement yourself in the Top-50 in the world would be an attainable goal between now and the end of the year. I have five more events, including this week. It’s another opportunity to improve my ranking.
West Australian Brett Rumford said Lake Karrinyup Country Club had always been an attraction to Perth golfers and it was great to share one of his favourite courses with other players, but he didn’t think he necessarily had a hometown advantage.
“It’s the Augusta of Western Australia, I’m just so happy that the Perth International is here this week.
“I think it comes down to knowing the greens. The more you can play a golf course and the better your knowledge of the greens, that’s where the advantage lies. But most of these greens are new. It’s different grass as well. So it is just really a putting comp at the end of the day – whoever putts the best is going to win the tournament.
Charl Schwartzel had two main reasons for coming to Perth. “Being a co-sanctioned event with the European Tour, it means it can count towards the Race to Dubai for me. That was one reason. The other reason is I’ve never been to Perth and have always wanted to come here. I’ve been falling in the World Rankings so if I come out here and have a good week I can start climbing back up.
For Jason Dufner, the four days ahead were all about strategy. “Short game is going to be a big key because you’re going to miss greens and balls are going to go 20, 30 yards away from hole locations. I think you need to do a lot of work around the greens, have a good idea where hole locations are, and just have a good strategy about how you want to attack and when you want to attack.
The ISPS HANDA Perth International, the richest tournament in Australia with prize money of US$2million, is owned and promoted by IMG and is the collective vision of Eventscorp, a division of Tourism Western Australia, and IMG to see a major international golf event played annually in Perth.
The International Sports Promotion Society, ISPS, is the title sponsor of the inaugural event. The ISPS HANDA Perth International is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the European Tour and the only event in Australia co-sanctioned with the European Tour and will be broadcasted globally via European Tour Television for over 800 hours showcasing Perth and Western Australia to 400 million homes in 67 countries.
Tickets are available online from www.perthinternational.com or from the Main Gate. For transport and access information and further information please visit the event website. Follow the ISPS HANDA Perth International on Facebook www.facebook.com/PerthInternationalGolf and Twitter @PerthIntl