Tony Webeck

As many golfers are welcoming the end of the season, West Australian Brett Rumford is wishing it would never end.

Coming off the back of a top-10 finish at the Emirates Australian Open that was soured by two bogeys in his final four holes of the tournament, Rumford believes he is suited to a revamped Royal Pines that will reward precision over power, despite starting the Australian PGA Championship with a disappointing round of 2-over par 74.

In March Rumford was admitted to a South Arican hospital and had to have part of his small intestine removed due to a blockage caused by an apple and as a result played only six tournaments on the European Tour.

This week’s co-sanctioned PGA Championship will count as his first of the new season. Since returning to play the PGA Tour of Australasia tournaments, Rumford has recorded a win at the WA PGA Championship, finished tied for 18th at the WA Open and was top 10 at both the UNIQLO Masters at Huntingdale and the Australian Open at The Australian.

The PGA Championship will be his fifth tournament in six weeks but after the year he’s had the 38-year-old feels as though he is just getting started.

“After my health issues this is now my fifth tournament in six weeks so I’ve just wanted to use these as a bit of a benchmark to see how my body is going to hold up heading into 2016 and I’m passing it with flying colours,” Rumford told Australian Golf Digest.

“Unfortunately for me I feel like I’m good to go. I’d like two weeks off and then have another four or five-week stretch.

“The game’s good and I’m itching to play but I’ve got six weeks off and then the new year I’ll be working hard on my fitness and get cracking through the Middle East through the third week in January and hit the next season pretty hard.”

In commentary at the Australian Open the likes of Wayne Grady and Ian Baker-Finch spoke glowingly of how Rumford’s swing was looking while course designer Graham Marsh told Australian Golf Digest on Tuesday that Rumford was one of the ones to watch this week.

With one of the sharpest short games in golf, Rumford also believes that the changes to the golf course will work to his advantage.

“The golf course is tempting,” said Rumford, who finished tied for 18th at 2-under in last year’s championship at Royal Pines.

“You can either attack it and take it on or you can be a bit more conservative and smart as well.

“There are no gimme up-and-downs around these greens and that’s where the trick lies. If you start going at pins and start short-siding yourself you’re going to be hard pressed to try and get up and down.

“It’s very similar to last week actually. Anyone who is struggling in the first round might be able to get away with it but as the week progresses it will wear you down so you’ve just got to be smart and play well.”

Despite the poor finish to his tournament, and a 2-over first round at Royal Pines, Rumford said he would take the positives out of last week’s Australian Open and hope to see a few more putts drop, particularly over the course of the weekend on the Gold Coast.

“My game was right there and all the signs suggested that I gave myself a reasonable chance to win that championship but it obviously wasn’t my week,” he said.

“But every week is different and you just need to adapt to the week and try and fit your game around the golf course and its difficulties.

“I didn’t putt well on that back nine. I putted well but I just didn’t hole the putts that you would expect to hole.

“I counted probably 11 putts that were makeable putts. On your day you’re going to fancy holing at least half of them and hole three or four of those 11 putts and all of a sudden I’ve got a birth in the Open Championship and would have lost by three or four shots over the week.”

“The body seems to be feeling good but I’ve been resting a lot and listening to my body as well. I;ve had a few shit days here and there but I seem to have slept it off during the day and I’ve recovered pretty well. Even if was at my fittest you’d start to be feeling pretty tired with the amount of golf.

“After my health scare and what I’ve gone through it’s given me a greater appreciation of how much recovery the body needs even when you’re at full fitness.

“He’s just made a lot of the emphasis on ball control and controlling your numbers. The way the greens and the tiers are you can play it safe to the middle, you’ll be putting up a lot of ridges.

“I’ve just worked really hard on the body and I’ve been doing some great work with Aaron Doyle from Drive 360…

“I did some stuff in 2013-14 swing changes that just didn’t agree with me. For whatever reason it just wasn’t working. I was heading down a path that was just deteriorating my game. I was driving the golf ball off the planet, stupidly wide and I just wasn’t giving myself any chance to get into any golf tournament.

“So I went back to my old coach at the end of 2013 Matt Belcham and we’ve slowly started to work on a few things, three or four things that I always seem to slip back into and I’d slipped into a lot of really bad motor patterns that I’ve had in my past, particularly for the driver.

“I just feel as though I’m getting my game back to the similar kind of form that I had back in 2013, 2010 I played great as well and just ahd a stretch through there when my golf swing was starting to perform well.”