Dave Tindall

Across the Pond

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World Super 6 Perth Preview

Monday, February 5, 2018


The World Super 6 Perth in Western Australia debuted on the European Tour last season and is back for its second edition.

 

To counter the sceptics, the four-day tournament which mixes three rounds of match play with a final day of six-hole matchplay, had an extremely pleasing outcome 12 months ago.

 

Brett Rumford topped the leaderboard by five shots after the 54 holes of strokeplay and came through the volatile 24-man shootout format on Sunday to lift the trophy. If the aim was to identify the week’s best golfer, the goal was achieved.

 

The danger or thrill of the format – depending on your viewpoint – is that a player who sneaked through to claim the 24th and final place in strokeplay could overcome three days of being outscored by the leader and everyone else to sneak through and win.

 

In fact, we almost saw that very scenario unfold as beaten finalist Phachara Kongwhatmai edged through in 24th after a play-off before local man Rumford took him down 2 and 1 in the Championship match.

 

A welcome change in format or just a bit of a novelty week between the serious events?

 

What we do know is that it presents a serious headache for gamers given what can happen on the final day.

 

 

Format

 

For 54 holes, nothing changes. It’s usual strokeplay and there’s the standard 36-hole cut (top 65 and ties). However, after day three, the field is reduced to the top 24 players (ties decided by a play-off). The tournament then switches to matchplay. As reward for playing well Thursday-Saturday, the top eight on the leaderboard get a bye through to round two of the matchplay section so can put their feet up until the last 16. The matchplay head-to-heads are played over just six holes although, of course, may be done in just four if a player goes 3 up. If these mini matches are all-square after 6, contests are decided on a new 90-meter Shootout Hole which uses the 18th green and a purpose-built tee adjacent to the 18th fairway. If a winner doesn't emerge, the Shootout Hole is played continually until one player comes out on top. The six-hole matchplay format continues through to the final. In theory, the winner could play 35 holes on Sunday if he doesn’t get a bye and all five of his six-hole matches went to the Shootout Hole and then nearest the pin (30 + 5).

 

 

Last year – Matchplay Sunday

 

Final: Brett Rumford bt Phachara Khongwatmai 2 and 1

Losing semi-finalists: Adam Bland, Jason Scrivener

Losing quarter-finalists: Louis Oosthuizen, Steven Jeffress, Matthew Millar, Wade Ormsby

Lost in last 16: Adam Blyth, Austin Connelly, Lucas Herbert, David Bransdon, Jake Higginbottom, Johannes Veerman, Nick Cullen, Hideto Tanihara

 

 

Course

 

Lake Karrinyup is a 7,143-yard (Aussies will quote it in meters, 6,531) par 72 with the standard four par 5s. It’s tree-lined but with wide fairways and features G6 Bentgrass greens. Opened in 1929, it underwent a revamp in 2007 from Geoff Ogilvy and Mike Clayton. As well as last year’s results, it was also the home of the Perth International in in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 so we have a decent bank of course form to look at.

 

According to the official website, the holes used for the Sunday matchplay segment of the tournament are:

 

10th par-4 (369 yards) 
11th par-5 (553 yards) 
13th par-4 (453 yards) 
14th par-4 (330 yards) 
12th par 3 (148 yards) 
18th par 4 (444 yards)

 

Presumably, the routing of the course means the holes are played out of the order they would be in strokeplay. Some of the big hitters may be licking their lips at the two short par 4s at 10 and 14.

 

 

The Weather

 

It’s a scorcher! The weekend forecast suggest we’ll be in the mid-to-high 90s and it’s only a notch below that on the first two days. It always gets windy in Perth so expect some gusts too.

 

 

The Leading Contenders

 

Lee Westwood

It’s been a while. Westwood last played Lake Karrinyup in 2003 (MC) while this is his first start in Australia since T18 in the 2015 Aussie Open. He lit up Friday’s play in last week’s Maybank Championship with a 62 before a pair of 70s on the weekend left him T11 (10th GIR). That followed MCs in Abu Dhabi and Dhabi so he’s hopefully back on track and, of course, has vast matchplay experience.  

 

Thorbjorn Olesen

The Dane is another of the big European draw cards this week and has strong connections with Lake Karrinyup having won the 2014 Perth International held there. It didn’t work out for him last year when he only finished T39 in strokeplay (three shots too many) but he did team up with countryman Lucas Bjerregaard to win the European Tour’s GolfSixes in England last May, another quirky format with six-hole matches played all week. MC in Malaysia last week after T29 in Dubai.

 

Ryan Fox

Fancied to go well here last year, he made a real mess of the play-off after finishing T20 in strokeplay and never reached Sunday’s shootout. If that inspires an extra determination, he has plenty of other credentials to back it up. The big-hitting Kiwi was tied third in the Maybank Championship last week and made the top 10 in the 2014 Perth International at Lake Karrinyup.

 

Jason Scrivener

Plays out of South Africa now but he was born in Australia and seems to thrive whenever he returns. Scrivener reached the last four in this event last year, was third in the 2016 Perth International at Lake Karrinyup and also cracked the top 20 on the par 72 in both 2012 and 2014. He added another pair of top 20s in the Aussie Open and Aussie PGA late last year and before MC in Malaysia was a very impressive T6 in the Dubai Desert Classic.

 

Paul Peterson

The American southpaw has jumped from 198th to 120th in the last fortnight after a win at the Myanmar Open backed up with T11 in last week’s Maybank Championship. He also has recent second places at the Panasonic Open (India) and Hong Kong Open, both in November, so brings a whole bunch of current form to the table. His only experience of Lake Karrinyup was a missed cut in the 2016 Perth International but surely his recent exploits are the best guide.

 

Satoshi Kodaira

The Japanese star has surged up to No. 37 in the world golf rankings thanks to a two recent wins on the Japan Tour and a pair of runner-up finishes on the Asian Tour in January (Singapore Open and Myanmar Open), the latter achieved with a closing 63. The big question for gamers is whether the 28-year-old can carry that over to Australia where he’ll be pegging it up for the first time. Is he a better option than the lower-ranked locals?

 

Kiradech Aphibarnrat

It’ll be a debut for the Thai at Lake Karrinyup but a fifth place in the 2013 World Cup on his last trip to Australia will fuel a few good memories. So far this year he’s not quite found the excellent form of late 2017 but T22 in Abu Dhabi and T27 in the Maybank (closing 66) suggest he’s not far away. The other obvious plus? He won the European Tour’s Paul Lawrie Match Play in 2015, albeit in very different weather conditions.

 

David Lipsky

He looked all set for another big challenge in Malaysia last week after being runner-up at the previous year’s Maybank Championship but didn’t quite heat it up enough on the weekend and settled for T17. That followed T6 in Dubai so his form is impressive. The good news keeps coming as he was T9 in the 2016 Perth International at Lake Karrinyup.

 

Andrew Johnson

‘Beef’ has made a solid start to the season with T9 at the Abu Dhabi Championship followed by T45 in Dubai (T15 at halfway) and T27 in Malaysia. As well as being one of the higher-ranked players in the field, he also has some handy experience of Lake Karrinyup. T50 on debut in 2012, he shot four solid rounds for T15 there in the 2016 Perth International. As ever, he’d be a hugely popular winner.

 

Hideto Tanihara

It’s a point of debate how much previous matchplay form is worth this week given that you have to play well under conventional rules for three days before engaging in head-to-head combat. But, if it helps, Tanihara reached the last four of the WGC-Match Play in Texas last year and also got to Sunday here 12 months ago before being edged out in his opener. He’d finished T14 in the strokeplay segment. Latest form? T5 in Malaysia last week and 7th for GIR.


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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at Sky Sports.com in the UK and has been writing betting previews for the European Tour since 1997. He can be reached via e-mail on tindall_david@hotmail.com and on Twitter @davetindallgolf.
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