Brett Rumford has predicted that the player who can best overcome the “mental tricks” posed by Royal Perth will be the one to win this year’s Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open.
The South Perth venue is famed for its tight layout, perched precariously between the Kwinana Freeway and Perth Zoo, and would appear at the mercy of the modern-day golfer’s enhanced driving capabilities.
But Rumford has warned that what the course he has called home for 30 years might lack in distance it more than makes up for with hidden dangers.
“The trickery with Royal Perth is the greens and I think you need to know the subtleties,” he said.
“From tee to green if you’re driving well then there’s plenty of birdie opportunities. But the golf course can be frustrating from 10 feet and in when you’re trying to read the subtleties of these greens.
“It can be frustrating if you press too hard at some of these pins which will be tough this week.
“Your game can go in the other direction quickly so there are a lot of mental tricks to Royal Perth Golf Club. I’m sure we’ll have to utilise all of them this week.”
The 40-year-old admitted it would be special to win on his home course this week and complete a rare double after he won the inaugural ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth at Lake Karrinyup earlier this year.
“It would be really special. Any player in Australia wants to win their home title,” he said.
“I have won it once before and it would be nice to do it again and around Royal Perth Golf Club, which is my home course, would be very special.”
A stellar field has assembled for this year’s tournament including defending champion Curtis Luck and the long-hitting Oliver Goss, who have both returned from the United States to play.
Goss was champion when the tournament was previously played at Royal Perth five years ago – when he narrowly pipped Rumford as a teenage amateur – while the start list is further strengthened by the likes of Jarryd Felton, 2016 US Junior Amateur champion Min Woo Lee and Hannah Green, who will take on the men after recently earning her LPGA Tour card in the US.
“It’s going to be a strong field this week,” Rumford said.
“We’ve got Oliver Goss coming back from America and Curtis Luck as well and Min Woo (Lee). Then of course you’ve got Hannah Green as well who is a West Australian sensation.
“I played with Minjee Lee (at the WA Open) in 2012 and she was just coming through as a professional and she’s gone on to amazing things so hopefully for Hannah this can be her stepping stone to some really good things this year as well as next year.”
Rumford arrived back in Perth in the early hours of Tuesday morning after jetting in straight from the Italian Open in Milan.
Rumford produced one of his best weeks in Europe this year, after firing a second-round 65, and admits it was a welcomed return to form ahead of his home tournament.
“Last week was the first turn of form really in terms of scoring,” he said.
“I’ve been playing well but I’ve just been a little bit off. I’m not too sure why my scoring hasn’t been as consistent as I would have liked, I’ve been missing cuts by one or two (strokes).
“Last week was a good week, it was a step in the right direction and I’ll be working much, much harder this week and trying to fine-tune a few things.”
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