RUMFORD IS A LOCAL SUCCESS IN THE SUPER SIX
Whilst the PGA Tour players were suffering in the rain and wind at Riviera, Australian Brett Rumford enjoyed the 95 degree weather in Australia to take victory in the inaugural World Super Six tournament at the Lake Karrinyup Golf club.
The new format for this event saw a 54-hole stroke play tournament with the top 24 players then progressing through to a series of six-hole knockout matches that provided excitement for the crowd and TV audience alike.
Rumford had led by five shots overnight and used his local knowledge of the course to progress through to the final as he beat Japan’s Hideto Tanihara 2&1 in the second round, needed a second shootout hole to beat fellow Australian Wade Ormsby and then birdied the first two holes in his semi-final against Adam Bland to win 1 up.
Standing in his way was the 17-year old Thai prodigy Phachara Khongwatmai who at the age of 14, won the Sing Hua Hin Open on the ASEAN PGA Tour. He also qualified for the 2016 Open at Royal Troon but missed the cut.
Khongwatmai won his first two matches on the final hole and then defeated Matthew Millar 2&1 in his quarter-final. He had three birdies in that match and followed up with another three in his 3&1 win over Jason Scrivener in the semi-final.
The final saw both players make mistakes on the early holes as the combination of the heat, fatigue and nerves played their part before Rumford took control with an incredible recovery shot from the left of the par-5 4th green to set up a 20-foot birdie putt to go 1 up. His tee-shot at the 145-yard 5th hole finished inside two feet and after Khongwatmai found the greenside bunker, Rumford took victory without even having to putt.
“It’s been an amazing week and to be the first winner of this new format is pretty special” he said in accepting the trophy for his sixth career win on the European Tour. “This format is the way the game is heading and I guess I was OK with it as I wound up winning.”
Rumford is a Perth native and has played the Lake Karrinyup course many times making him a very popular local winner. Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen was the most well-known worldwide player involved in the final day and he took 5th place as a series of deciding matches took place alongside the final to determine the minor placings.
The six-hole format also required the use of a shoot-out hole to determine ties with a special tee being created on the final hole giving the excitement of a 100-yard sudden-death decider. This was used for the first time overnight as the final five spots in the Sunday knockouts were decided in this way, Khongwatmai being one of the players who came through in this way.