This week's ISPS HANDA Perth International will welcome the strongest depth of field in its four-year history.
The field of 156 will provide golf fans with a variety of exciting players to follow from the three sanctioned tours – the European Tour, Asian Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia. The truly international flavour of the tournament will see golfers from28 different countries represented in Perth.
Eight of the players finishing T9th or better at the Maybank Championship Malaysia, including tournament winner Marcus Fraser, are all headed to Western Australia.
European Tour players to watch include:
Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) – 12 career wins around the world, with the highlight being the 2010 Open Championship at St Andrews. He was runner-up at the 2012 Masters Tournament losing at the 2nd play-off hole to Bubba Watson. In the final round he recorded only the fourth ever albatross inMasters history. In 2015 Louis recorded back-to-back runner-up finishes at the US Open and The Open where he was defeated in a four-hole aggregate playoff.Louis also starred for the International Team at The Presidents Cup 2015. His highest placing on the Official World Golf Ranking is fourth, achieved inJanuary 2013.
Victor Dubuisson (France) - Victor turned Professional in 2010 following a successful amateur career, reaching number one in the World Amateur Golf Rankings in November 2009. His first professional win came at the 2013Turkish Airlines Open. It highlighted a great year, which included seven top-10s and a sixth-place finish on the 2013 Race to Dubai. The following year he lost in the final of the 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship to Jason Day at the 23rd hole. He represented Europe in their winning team at the 2014 Ryder Cup. Victor won his second title on the European Tour at the 2015 Turkish Airlines Open. He was runner-up at the 2014 ISPS HANDA Perth International.
Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark) - Defending ISPS HANDA Perth International champion. After three runner-up finishes in 2011 he won his first European Tour title at the 2012 Sicilian Open and broke into the top-50 on the Official WorldGolf Rankings that year to earn an invitation to The Masters Tournament where he finished tied for 6th place. After his victory in Perth, he added a third title at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last October.
Matteo Manassero (Italy) - In 2009, at age 16, Matteo became the youngest ever winner of the British Amateur Championship. He turned professional in May 2010 and just five months later won the Castelló Masters inSpain by four strokes to become the youngest ever winner on the EuropeanTour, surpassing the record set by Danny Lee at the 2009 Johnnie WalkerClassic in Perth. He secured his second European Tour win at the 2011 Maybank Malaysian Open and in November 2012 won the Barclays Singapore Open to become the first teenager to win three times on the European Tour. In 2013, Matteo won the biggest tournament of his career to date - the 2013 BMW PGA Championship.
Alejandro Cañizares (Spain) - Alejandro is the son of five-timeEuropean Tour winner and four-time European Ryder Cup team member José Maria Cañizares. While attending college in the US, he won the 2003 NCAA men's golf championship while at Arizona State University. He turned professional in 2006 and won in his third start as an affiliate member of the European Tour at the Russian Open the same year. This made him the fastest affiliate member to win on the Tour,surpassing Sergio García and Graeme McDowell. Alejandro played the PGA TOUR in2008. In 2014 he won his second European Tour title at the Trophée Hassan II tournament in Morocco.
Other notable European entrants include four-timeEuropean Tour tournament winner and Ryder Cup star, Stephen Gallacher (Scotland), talented Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, Italian Edoardo Molinari and Englishman Tom Lewis who won the 2011 Portugal Masters in only his third professional start. In addition to Victor Dubuisson there is a very strongFrench contingent including tournament winners Gary Stal, Alexander Levy,Gregory Havret, Julien Quesne and Gregory Bourdet. The field also includes two of the stars of the Great Britain and Ireland team that won theWalker Cup last year in Paul Dunne (Ireland) and Corman Sharvin (NorthernIreland). Dunne led The Open Championship after 54 holes as an amateur last July at St Andrews. This marks both players debut professional event in Western Australia.
Stand out Australian players include:
Brett Rumford (Western Australia) - A five-time winner on theEuropean Tour. In April 2013 "Rummy" won the Ballantines Championship and VolvoChina Open in consecutive weeks to become the first Australian to win back-to-back events since Jack Newton in 1972. He underwent surgery in March last year to remove 30 centimetres his small intestine after he was taken ill at the halfway stage of the Tshwane Open in South Africa. The operation has forced him to play a very limited schedule, but he won the WA PGA Championship last October in his first appearance since The Open at St Andrews in July. Back to full fitness, he recently finished 7th on his return to the Tshwane Open.
Peter Senior (Queensland) - One of the greatest ambassadors for Australian golf over the past four decades winning events in Japan, Europe and Australia. The longevity and success of his career was reinforced as the oldest winner of the Australian PGA (2010); Australian Open (2012) and his stunning Australian Masters win last November at the age of 56. Peter has played on the Champions Tour for the past six years recording 40 top-10finishes in that time.
Greg Chalmers (Western Australia) - Greg won the ChallengeTour Championship in 1997 to qualify for the European Tour in 1998 where he enjoyed a great first season finishing 25th on the Order of Merit. Later that year he won the Australian Open and went on to earn his PGA TOUR card for 1999where he has been based for much of the past 15 years. Greg recorded runner-up finishes at the 2000 Kemper Insurance Open and 2009 Buick Open and won the 2005 Boise Open on the Web.com Tour. In 2011, he won the Australian Open for the second time holding off John Senden and Tiger Woods to claim victory. He followed this up with a win at the Australian PGA Championship defeating Robert Allenby and Marcus Fraser and also won the PGA Tour of Australasia Order ofMerit. In December 2014, he won his second Australian PGA Championship and claimed his second Order of Merit title.
Wade Ormsby (South Australia) - Wade won the Panasonic Open-India in 2013 on the Asian Tour. 2014 marked his best year as a professional finishing 51st in the Race to Dubai and he narrowly failed to add his second win at the 2014 Australian PGA Championship losing out in a dramatic three way play-off with eventual champion Greg Chalmers and Adam Scott. Wade has enjoyed eight top 10 finishes on the European Tour in the past two seasons.
Richard Green (Victoria) - A three time winner on the EuropeanTour with his first win coming at the 1997 Dubai Desert Classic where he defeated Ian Woosnam and Greg Norman in a play-off to become the first left-hander to win on the European Tour since Bob Charles at the 1974 Swiss Open. "Greeny" won the 2004 Australian Masters at Huntingdale edging out Greg Chalmers and David McKenzie at the first play-off hole. He also won the 2015Victorian Open.
Marcus Fraser (Victoria)-Turned professional in 2002 after representing Australia at The Eisenhower Trophy where he took out individual honours. In 2003 he won four times, including three tournaments in one month - the Danish Open, Finnish Challenge and the Russian Open, which was also a European Tour event to secure his card on the European Tour. He has maintained his playing status since by consistently finishing inside the top-100 on theRace to Dubai with a best of 25th place in 2012. He recorded his second win at the 2010 Ballantine's Championship and has just won the Maybank Championship inMalaysia which will see him jump him into the top 65 of the Official World GolfRankings and to Number 6 on the 2016 Race to Dubai.
Leading the charge from the Asian Tour are:
Jeev Milkha Singh (India) – In 1998 Jeev became the first player from India to join the European Tour. In 2006 he won his first European Tour event at the Volvo China Open and also won the season ending Volvo Masters. He finished that year as the winner of the Asian Tour Order of Merit and capped his season with a pair of back to back wins in Japan to become the first Indian to make the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings. In 2007 he became the first Indian golfer to participate in The Masters Tournament. Jeev finished T9th at the 2008 USPGA Championship and ended the European Tour season ranked12th on the Order of Merit. He also secured his second Order of Merit title on the Asian Tour after winning the Barclays Singapore Open. He won his fourthEuropean Tour title at the 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open defeating Francesco Molinari in a play-off. Jeev recently captained the AsianTeam at the second staging of the EurAsia Cup.
Miguel Tabuena (Philippines) – The 21-year-old turned professional in 2011 and already has four professional wins in the Philippines to his name. Miguel became the first Filipino since 2008 to win his National Open when he won the Philippines Open in 2015. He earned a full card for that year. As a highly rated teenager, Miguel was a silver medallist in theAsian Games in Guangzhou, China in 2010. He finished T2 at last week's Maybank Championship Malaysia.
Jeunghun Wang (Korea) – Aged just 20, Jeunghun has already had one professional win - at the 2014 Mission Hills Haikou Open in China. He enjoyed a stellar season in 2014 where he didn't miss a single cut in 16 AsianTour events with his best finish at the Dubai Open where he was runner-up. In2015 he capped two top-five results to finish ninth on the Order of Merit. He is known as one of the best ball strikers in Asia and was a member of the AsianTeam at the recent EurAsia Cup.
The ISPS HANDA Perth International commences on Thursday (25 February). Tickets are still available from Ticketmaster and at the gate. Children under 16 gain free entry with a paying adult. As well as the on-course excitement, there's plenty to do off-course with an enhanced Tournament village featuring food trucks, GolfAustralia's My Golf Junior golf activities, pitching and putting skills, the inaugural Perth International Quokka Cup Putting Competition plus a variety of fun garden games. Adults can relax at the Coopers 62 Beer Garden, with misting fans and live action on the screens.
The tournament will be broadcast for four hours on each of the four days on FOX SPORTS from 4pm to 8pm AEST.
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