The European Tour gets quirky this week when it combines stroke play with match play for the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth tournament. The different format for this event was used for the first time to good success and it is back for a second running this year.
With the unknowns around how the tournament would play out last year the field was not the best but that has been rectified this year and a competitive cast list has been assembled to try and wrestle the title away from Brett Rumford who won the event last year.
2017 – Brett Rumford
The tournament is played out in usual manner for the first three rounds with the field playing stroke play over all 18 holes. There is a halfway cut after 36 holes and then after the third round the leading 24 players progress to the final round.
The tournament then becomes match play on Sunday with matches taking place over six holes in a straight knockout format. The tournament winner is decided in the final after the draw has been played out in full.
Lake Karrinyup Country Club is once again the venue for this tournament. The stroke play course is far from the longest at 7,143 yards for a par 72 so you would think scoring will be fairly good especially with the wide fairways allowing players to pound it off the tee. The greens are quite undulating so the more short irons that are used into them the better. It goes without saying that scrambling is crucial.
The match play holes have changed for this renewal. This year they will be holes 10, 11, 13, 14, 12 and then 18. Birdies will be needed on a number of those holes.
We may lack the major champions that other tournaments get this week but there are some decent names at European Tour level. The biggest name on show is Lee Westwood while Andrew Johnston is sure to get the crowds excited.
Brett Rumford will lead the home charge while Jason Scrivener, Wade Ormsby and Ryan Fox will look to challenge from Australasia. Asia are well represented this week too with Hideto Tanihara and Kiradech Aphibarnrat teeing it up.
To highlight just how competitive the field is this week bookmakers are going 25/1 co-favourites of four which is unheard of. Jason Scrivener, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thorbjorn Olesen and Ryan Fox are the four men in question.
Satoshi Kodaira is next in the market at 28/1 and he arrives here in decent form. Whether he will be able to hold his nerve when the tournament goes to match play could be a concern though and puts me off him in what is a competitive heat in both the market and the need to make the top 24 just to stay alive.
Asian Tour specialist David Lipsky comes next in the betting at 30/1. If he can translate his Asian form into this event then there is nothing stopping him from going well. It is hard to say the price is skinny but I prefer others in this tournament. It is 33/1 bar.
I’m not going to go mad in this tournament. This is more an event to watch and enjoy the quirks to it rather than go conkers deep from a betting point of view but I’ll have a couple of main bets to keep me interested in the hope they can get through to Sunday when the lottery really begins.
Hideto Tanihara made the knockout stages of this last year where he was beaten in the second round by the eventual winner Brett Rumford. The Japanese player arrives here in decent form after finishing fifth in Malaysia last week and we saw in the WGC Matchplay last year that he can come to the fore in the knockout format. All things being equal the classy Japanese player should go well here.
Wade Ormsby has already won on the European Tour this season when he landed the title in Hong Kong and while he has missed his last three cuts I’m not too concerned by that because shootouts aren’t generally his thing. He should be suited to the firm track he’ll find here though. His precise iron play and much improved putting makes him a leading contender in my eyes. In his last 15 tournaments he has five top 10s and his scrambling stats are always good. I’ll take him to make Sunday and hopefully do some damage.
As with the main bets I won’t go mad here but there is one outsider who has caught my eye and I hope he can make Sunday once again and then who knows.
That player is Adam Bland. He was third in this tournament last year where he took out Louis Oosthuizen on his way to being beaten by Rumford in the semi-final. Bland has a really good record in Australia. He has made three top three finishes in his last five events down under which is insane form and if his putting stays to the level it has been he can eat up the leaderboard and hopefully do some damage on Sunday.
Back H.Tanihara to win ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 34.00 with Betfred (1/4 1-4)
Back him here:
Back W.Ormsby to win ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 41.00 with BetVictor (1/4 1-4)
Back A.Bland to win ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 101.00 with 888sport (1/4 1-4)