Major champions line up in Perth

 

 

From European Tour

 

Major Champions Charl SchwartzelJason Dufner, and Geoff Ogilvy will this week headline the field in the ISPS HANDA Perth International, the final full field tournament of the regular 2014 European Tour season.

 

Just a week before the season-ending Final Series gets underway and brings The Race to Dubai to a climax, a strong field returns to Lake Karrinyup Country Club, in Perth, for the third edition of the AUS$1.75 million tournament.    

 

Schwartzel currently lies 16th in the Rankings and is therefore in line to receive a share of the Bonus Pool, which is divided between the top 15 players; but the South African will be bidding to bounce back from a disappointing performance in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship earlier this month, where he missed the cut. 

 

The 2011 Masters Tournament winner is making his second appearance in the ISPS HANDA Perth International, having made his debut in 2012.

 

Ogilvy will be competing in a regular stroke play event on The European Tour for the first time since the 2010 Alstom Open de France.

 

The Melbourne resident, who won the US Open Championship in 2006, recently returned to the winner’s enclosure on the US PGA Tour, in the Barracuda Championship.

 

Having followed that up with a tied runner-up finish in the Deutsche Bank Championship, Ogilvy will be hoping to continue his fine form by winning his first European Tour event since the 2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

 

Should he succeed Korea’s Jin Jeong as champion, Ogilvy would become only the sixth Australian – after Jarrod Moseley (1999 Heineken Classic), Lucas Parsons (2000 Greg Norman Holden International), Aaron Baddeley (2001 Greg Norman Holden International and 2008 Australian Masters), Craig Parry (2005 Heineken Classic) and Rod Pampling (2009 Australian Masters) – to win a European Tour event on home soil.

 

Dufner will be making his first competitive appearance for more than two months, having recovered from the neck injury that forced him to withdraw from the US PGA Championship in early August.

 

The American finished runner-up behind his compatriot Bo Van Pelt in the inaugural ISPS Handa Perth International two years ago, which remains his best performance in a regular European Tour event.

 

Van Pelt was succeeded as champion by Jeong, who captured his maiden title after beating Ross Fisher on the first extra hole, and should Jeong make a successful defence of the crown he won 12 months ago, he would become the first Korean to win the same event in successive seasons.

 

Other notable names in the field include US PGA Tour winner Steven Bowditch of Australia and France’s Ryder Cup star Victor Dubussion, who arrives in Perth on the back of a quarter final defeat in last week’s Volvo World Match Play Championship.

 

At the conclusion of the ISPS HANDA Perth International, currently the top 111 players in The Race to Dubai will retain their playing privileges for The 2015 European Tour season, due to Brendon de Jonge, an Affiliate Member, currently in 66th spot, not being included in the top 110.

 

Matthew Nixon is currently in 111th place, and the Englishman will hope to build on some encouraging performances of late in Scotland, Portugal and Hong Kong.

 

The ISPS HANDA Perth International is the only Australian tournament to be co-sanctioned by The European Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia.

 

History was made at this week’s host venue, Lake Karrinyup Country Club, in the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2003, when Ernie Els set the European Tour record for the lowest winning 72 hole total in relation to par of 259 (-29).

 

 

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