Brett Rumford is at the Fiji International for the first time and in search of a big win when he tees up at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course from Thursday.

The West Australian arrived in Fiji having already won in 2017 as his victory at the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth, like the Fiji International, was tri-sanctioned alongside the European Tour and Asian Tour.

While the win secured Rumford’s career on the European Tour for the next two years it also gave him top spot on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit. With $1.5million on offer at the Fiji International, a victory would see Rumford cement his place heading into the final events of the 2017 season.

“The Fiji International is a very attractive tournament for me; it’s in a beautiful destination but it can also have a big impact on my career moving forward,” said Rumford, who currently leads the Order of Merit by more than $100,000 from New Zealander Michael Hendry. “With it being sanctioned by the European Tour it is a good opportunity for me to move up in the Race to Dubai rankings, I would love to be playing the DP World Tour Championship at the end of the year.

“But this is also an important tournament for me on the PGA Tour of Australasia. A goal of mine this year is to win the Order of Merit, which will provide me starts in The Open and World Golf Championship tournaments next year.”

A prominent player on both the European Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia, the Fijian government is pleased to welcome Rumford to Fiji for the first time.

“We are thrilled that Brett Rumford will be visiting Fiji for the first time and playing in the Fiji International,” said the Honourable Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism.

“The Fiji International is an important event for Fiji as we continue to build our reputation and capacity to host world class sporting events. The fact that the Fiji International is also important to Brett’s career is indication of the tournament’s significance on the international golf calendar.”

Rumford is a welcome addition to the Fiji International field which is headlined by three former Masters champions: local hero Vijay Singh, plus Mike Weir and Angel Cabrera.

“Each year the Australian field teeing it up at the Fiji International gets stronger. Brett Rumford playing in the event is fantastic and shows the importance players place on winning the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit,” said Gavin Kirkman, chief executive of the PGA of Australia, which oversees the PGA Tour of Australasia.

“Creating playing opportunities for our members is extremely important. The Fiji International assists in doing this, not only as another tournament on our schedule, but the prizemoney ensures the event has an impact on the Order of Merit and the tri-sanctioning also allows our players the chance to compete in European Tour and Asian Tour events.”