Local favourite Brett Rumford had the crowds cheering at Lake Karrinyup Country Club today as he cemented his place at the top of the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth leaderboard.
After holding a share of the overnight lead, Rumford teed off in the afternoon field and immediately made his presence on course known with a birdie at the par-4 1st hole.
Playing steady golf, Rumford really heated up around the turn with four consecutive birdies to post an outward 31.
With his fifth birdie on the trot, Rumford was up and about, the short game he is renowned for on full display.
With just one blemish on his scorecard, Rumford signed for an impressive 7-under 65 on a day that drained all his energy.
“I'm pretty tired after that today. It was harder than I actually anticipated. The weather forecast was supposed to be only about 31 today, but felt like about 40,” said Rumford.
“Had a good round I guess from, 6 through to 10, and then got a little bit unfortunate on 11 which sort of stopped that round, but sort of all the work was done.
“Then just played some solid golf coming in, made some good up and downs ‑‑ the wind was just starting to swirl on that back nine making things a bit tricky, so a couple numbers that were a little bit out, but apart from that it was a really good day.”
Rumford is pleased with his position on the leaderboard but knows aside from potential safety through to the second round of match play on Sunday, if he were to maintain a top-8 position, it means little with the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth’s innovative format.
“It's one of those things that someone's going to have to finish first in the qualifier, but there's no real advantage between one and 24,” added Rumford.
“They're all great players here this week and match play of six holes, it's a bit of a lottery. So obviously just getting your foot in the door and qualifying is the number one key.
“It’s definitely a huge bonus qualifying inside that top-8. So it's definitely something I am thinking about.
“That's why it's going to be so unique and so interesting as well. There's sort of cuts within cuts this week, but definitely the top-8 is where you want to be.
David Bransdon produced the best score of the tournament so far, his 8-under 64 today launching him up the leaderboard in to outright second.
Like all players currently in the top-24, Bransdon is hunting a top-8 place at the end of 54 holes tomorrow to ensure he plays match play for the first time in 23 years.
“The form's been pretty good of late and I like playing this golf course because you've got to hit it good around here and you can't really spread it anywhere so that's nice,” said Bransdon.
“You need to be in that top-8 after three rounds, so I'm in a good position for that. Top-24 obviously, that's the goal because if you're not in the top-24 you don't get to be part of the fun on Sunday.”
At 10-under the card Steven Jeffress is outright third while Lucas Herbert and American Johannes Veerman round out the top-5 on 9-under the card.
Tournament drawcard Louis Oosthuizen produced another solid round to be tied 10th with scores of 69 and 68.
The 36 holes cut was made at 2-under the card with 66 Professionals and the lone amateur in the field, Curtis Luck making the weekend rounds.
Disappointed to be bowing out of the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth was World Number 11 Alex Noren.
“I'm very disappointed. I came here to try to do as well as I could and really played okay today, struggled yesterday and it is disappointing especially, you know, being top ranked and all that,” said Noren.
“I think the golf course is one of the best I've seen and I just need to learn how to play it.”
“It's a beautiful place and the course is wonderful and the people are nice, so, yeah, it's a fantastic time.”
The third round will tee off at 9:55am with the final group of Steven Jeffress, David Bransdon and Brett Rumford teeing off at 11:45am.
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