Jason Scrivener intends to use the pressure of playing in front of family and friends to propel him to a maiden European Tour win at this week’s ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth tournament at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
Local hopes such as Scrivener, Min Woo Lee, Jarryd Felton, Daniel Fox and Perth native Nick O’Hern will go head-to-head with a star-studded field that includes Belgian Thomas Pieters, England’s Tom Lewis, Japan’s Yuta Ikeda, Kiwi Ryan Fox and fellow Australians Lucas Herbert, Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby and Wade Ormsby.
Entering his fifth year on the European Tour, Scrivener has already logged four top-10 finishes since the Honma Hong Kong Open in November, his latest a tie for fifth at last week’s ISPS HANDA Vic Open.
The 2017 NSW Open champion has moved up to No.127 in the world and wants to use a rare start on home soil to show just how far his game has come.
“I’d be lying if I said that playing at home doesn’t come with some extra pressure but I think that’s good,” said Scrivener, who will tee off with Pieters and Dimi Papadatos at 7.10am on Thursday morning.
“It usually makes me focus that little bit more. I want to play well in front of friends and family and give them a bit of a show.
“I feel like I’ve done that and played well the past few years so it’s a nice treat.
“Everyone is saying that I’m in good form and that I’m playing well. I feel like I may have gone up a level and my expectations of myself have gone up a bit more because of that.
“I want to keep improving and take it to the next level. I want to start winning as much as I can.
“I’ve been close to winning a European Tour event but it would be nice to get the monkey off the back.
“That’s why the ISPS HANDA Vic Open last week was a tough one to take. I felt like I probably let that tournament slip through my fingers but if I was able to turn that disappointment into a win this week it will all be worth it.”
Ironically, qualifying for the US Open at Shinnecock Hills led to a downturn in form that threatened to strip Scrivener of his status on the European Tour.
In the wake of missing the cut at the US Open by a shot, the 29-year-old finished better than 61st just once in his next seven starts but rallied late to not only keep his card but almost qualify for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
A late call-up to the WGC-HSBC Championship in China exposed Scrivener to some of the best players in the world and revealed what he needed to do in order to join their ranks.
“In a matter of two months I went from having to play well to keep my card to almost playing my way into the final event of the year,” said Scrivener, who qualified for the semi-finals at Lake Karrinyup two years ago.
“Over those two months I played with a lot of top 50 players and they are relentless, they don’t waste any shots.
“I played with guys like Matt Fitzpatrick, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Patrick Cantlay, Sergio Garcia… They are all top-30 players year after year so they are obviously doing something that I’m not.
“The difference between us and the top golfers in the world is not a lot, they just do all of the little things really well. That all adds up over four rounds and over the course of the year.
“That’s what my mentality will be over the next couple of years, to tick every box and do all of those 1 per centers really well.
“This year I am going to set my sights a bit higher and try to go to that next level.”
Headlines at a glance
Els names Choi, Immelman, Weir as captain’s assistants for the 2019 Presidents Cup
Trio joins Ogilvy as Els’ four assistants
Scott Hend: Confessions of a global golfer
He could be the most well-travelled golfer Australia has ever produced. A 14-time winner as a professional, as he prepares for this week’s Mayba...