Local favourite Brett Rumford will bid to claim a Western Australian double following confirmation that he will play at this year’s Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open Championship.
Rumford, who recently turned 40, secured an emotional victory at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth at Lake Karrinyup in February and will make a competitive return to his home state for the WA Open, which will be staged at Royal Perth from October 19-22.
Rumford has called Royal Perth his golfing home for 30 years – to provide extra significance to the occasion – and after spending the majority of the year playing in Europe is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to compete for a trophy he last won in 2005.
“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s just great that my schedule has allowed me to come back and obviously play again around Royal Perth,” said Rumford, who is currently back in Perth and practising on his home course before heading off to the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia’s Fiji International next week.
“There’s been a lot of changes around Royal Perth and I’m just looking forward to getting back.
“I’ve been here for 30 years exactly. It has been a long while but it’s a golf course that I never really get tired of playing.
“It’s tree lined and you’ve got to drive it straight – it’s rewarding. If you’re slightly off it certainly lets you know about it and scoring becomes almost impossible, but if your game is on and you’re driving it well then you can shoot as low as you want around here.”
The WA Open has a rich history with golf greats such as Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch and Gary Player having won the title, while last year Perth young gun Curtis Luck showcased his talent with victory as an amateur.
“Local hero Terry Gale has won it six times as well,” Rumford added.
“There have been a lot of great West Australian players (who have won the title) – Stephen Leaney and Greg Chalmers.
“For a world player like myself – it’s just great to come back and support golf in Western Australia.”
Rumford mastered the new hybrid format at the tri-sanctioned World Super 6 Perth earlier this year to secure his first win since 2013 and his eighth as a professional.
The victory was made even more poignant as Rumford’s career had been threatened by health issues during the four years in between – when he admitted he also fell out of love with the game – but said he is now fit and firing.
“It has been a long road back. The health is great, I cycle a lot and that has always been a really good indicator as to how hard I can push myself,” he said.
“At the moment I seem to be fine, my recovery is the biggest indicator and it has been great.”
GolfWA chief executive Gary Thomas welcomed the confirmation that Rumford would be teeing it up at Royal Perth.
“Brett’s quality on the course is matched by the man off it and we’re delighted to announce that he will play in a tournament with such a proud history for Western Australians,” Thomas said.
“Curtis Luck’s victory last year helped to kick-start his breakthrough 2016 and to stage the event at Royal Perth – which is also a special place for Brett – is a perfect venue to showcase what promises to be another memorable tournament.”
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