The European Tour stays in Australia this week for the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth tournament, a quirky hybrid event which features three rounds of traditional stroke play followed by an exciting day of match play to finish the event.
With a huge event in America this week and another big one in Mexico next week the field here isn’t the strongest. Last year’s winner Kiradech Aphibarnrat is not here so we will get a new winner this week.
2018 – Kiradech Aphibarnrat
2017 – Brett Rumford
We have a bit of a change to the format this week. The first half of the tournament runs as normal. The field compete in stroke play with the usual 36 hole cut taking place but it is in the third round when things get interesting as only the top 24 players at the end of Saturday progress through to the final round.
That final round is on Sunday and is played over six hole match play. The top eight go through to the second round with the other 16 players playing to face one of them in a straight knockout tournament in what has been an exciting conclusion to the event in the first two years.
We are back at the wonderful Lake Karrinyup Country Club this week for what should be a feast of golf. The stroke play course is a par 72 which measures 7,143 yards so it isn’t the longest but as with most courses in this part of the world it requires accuracy from the tee to have control of approach shots into undulating greens which have plenty of run off areas. With that in mind scrambling is going to be absolutely crucial this week too.
Unless the format has changed the match play holes appear to have remained the same. They are holes 10, 11, 13, 14, 12 and 18. They are usually designed for risk and reward so birdies will be needed.
It is quite clear that this isn’t the strongest field we are ever going to see in a European Tour event. It just doesn’t fall in the right week for that but we do still have one half of the World Cup winning pair here in Thomas Pieters. Recent tour event winner Tom Lewis is also in the field as are leading Australian players Jason Scrivener and Lucas Herbert.
Ryan Fox heads up the rest of the world challenge this week while Justin Harding and Jazz Janewattananond will both be looking to continue their good form. Wade Ormsby failed two holes from home last week and he will be looking to improve on that while Adrian Otaegui and Nicolas Colsaerts are two more household names teeing it up.
Thomas Pieters is a 16/1 favourite to win the tournament this week. He is a recent winner in Australia having partnered Thomas Detry to World Cup success and showcased his match play exploits in the Ryder Cup back in 2016 so he probably sets the standard here. I don’t think that his form is necessarily the best but in this field there can be no arguments about the price or his standing in the market.
Tom Lewis and Jason Scrivener are both 18/1 second favourites to win the tournament this week. They have both shown some decent form in recent times and look to have games that should suit this course. I’m a little wary of how Scrivener faded last week so that would be a concern when the winner on Sunday will have to play at least 24 holes.
Lucas Herbert is 20/1 to win the tournament and you would think his power could serve him well come the match play element of the tournament but whether he can get that far remains to be seen. He has good weeks and bad. If this is a good week it would be no surprise if he wins but picking which weeks are what is no mean feat.
Justin Harding has been in good form for a while and I’m sure he will be popular at 25/1 especially those looking at his scrambling stats in recent times. That should put him in good stead here so it is hard to put anyone off him although as ever with this format cases can be made for many and anything can happen. It is 28/1 bar.
Although he is relatively short at the top end of the market for a tournament of this kind, I can’t lure myself away from Tom Lewis this week. Lewis has been in good form for a while and getting back in the winners’ enclosure has clearly done wonders for his confidence. He heads into the week sitting fifth in the European Tour for scrambling this season and we’ve seen his match play credentials in the past. If he can make the leading 24 he should take a fair bit of stopping over the course of Sunday.
Another man who I think will be tough to beat if he can get into the knockout stages is home man Marcus Fraser. Fraser has always had a style that suits match play with excellence with the iron shots and a good short game and work with the putter. He has been in decent nick for a while without having that standout week which gets him noticed but he went well last week and in front of a home crowd should be backed to do likewise this week too.
Clement Sordet has been popping up on a few leaderboards recently but he hasn’t always sustained his presence on them so it might be that a quirky tournament like this where the pressure isn’t as strong and a few good holes on Sunday has a huge impact, brings out the best in him. He went very nicely statistically last week and has had a number of top 20s in recent times at this level. If he can have an inspired couple of hours at the right time should he make it through to Sunday he would have every chance.
Geoff Ogilvy is twice a match play champion over in America and although he probably isn’t as good a player now as he was then this is such a poor field that I think I have to pay to see just how well he does or doesn’t go. Ogilvy had a good first round last week before a poor weekend but paid to his chances but this course is easier than that one and his scrambling and short game qualities could serve him well. Experience could be key this week and Ogilvy has the potential to be a sleeper.
Back T.Lewis to win ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 19.00 with 888sport (1/4 1-4)
Back M.Fraser to win ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 51.00 with BetVictor (1/4 1-4)
Back C.Sordet to win ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with Coral (1/4 1-4)
Back G.Ogilvy to win ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 101.00 with Betway (1/4 1-4)