THREE TIME EOROPEAN TOUR WINNER Brett Rumford will headline this week’s John Hughes Geely / Nexus Risk Services WA Open Championship at the Royal Perth Golf Club.
Rumford was in the west last week playing in the ISPS HANDA Perth International and decided to stay on for the Open, an event he won in 2005.
“I was always going to play this, there is Singapore in a couple of weeks so I could have been preparing for that but I decided to play this week and support West Australian golf,” said Rumford. “Obviously being around my home course was a big incentive as well.”
This will be the first time Rumford has played his State Open since he claimed the title and is hoping that his home course advantage will help him.
“There are a lot of subtleties in the greens so I still need to play well around here, I need to drive the ball good.”
“I don’t usually play Royal Perth in the mornings, so tomorrow it should be interesting playing with an easterly wind but in saying that I’m just looking forward to getting out there and having a knock.”
“I think anyone in this field is capable of winning, if I can play anywhere near to my ability then I will give myself a good chance this week.”
After a disappointing start at the Perth International, won by American Bo Van Pelt, Rumford felt his game was showing promising signs at the weekend.
“I don’t know what happened over the first couple of days last week, I didn’t seem to play that well but towards the weekend I was playing better and better.”
“But that is just golf isn’t it? You just never know, there is no difference in how hard you work from one week to the next but you just get varied results, hopefully it can come off this week”
Rumford is slated to play with 16-year-old school girl and US Girls Junior Champion Minjee Lee, who led the WA Open Championship after the first round in 2011.
“I only just heard through the grape vine that she is doing amazing things and obviously you don’t really have the ability to follow the junior scene being away in Europe for eight months of the year.”
“She played well here last year and I think she might create history being the first female golfer making the cut in an Open event, so hopefully she can do it this week.”
Having been one of the best golfers to come out of Perth in recent times, Rumford is enjoying watching the next wave of talented golfers tear up Royal Perth.
“We have always had world class players to bring the exposure to Australian golf, I think the weather and the opportunity that Australia provides it’s pretty hard not to produce quality players, particularly when you look at how active we are and how competitive we are as a nation.”
Joining Rumford in the field are a number of former champions including defending champion Rohan Blizard, Stephen Leaney and Kim Felton.
Winning the title last year was a big career breakthrough for Blizard.
“Winning made me feel like I belonged out here on Tour and that my game, when I play well is good enough to win,” said Blizard. “I felt I had finally made the next step up after a successful amateur career.”
The tournament is set to get underway from 6.30am on Thursday with the champion to be crowned on Sunday afternoon. Entry to the course is free for spectators.