West Australian Brett Rumford took an early lead in the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth, but despite leading a pack of European and Asian Tour stars, the 39-year-old is certainly not getting ahead of himself.
He admitted there were no shades of brilliance in his opening round today, but smart, no nonsense golf got the job for his 6-under 66 at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
“It was really nice, just a solid 33 front, 33 back, for a 66, that’s pretty much how the round unfolded,” Rumford said.
“No stretches of brilliance, just a consistent round of golf. I controlled the ball pretty much how I wanted it most the day and, yeah, I think the golf course is set up that way as well.
“It’s relatively generous off the tee when the wind’s not blowing as strong as what it was this morning, but the greens being a bit more receptive as well, fairly large greens, quite generous, and they’re actually rolling very, very well.”
Rumford said his spot near the top of the leaderboard is by no means a comfortable one and expected the field to catch up with him once play finishes today.
“I think if you’re on, you’re on. You can shoot a number at any golf course, but this one in particular, there’s a lot of short par-4s and there’s a lot of opportunities with par-5s as well being reachable, so there’s no reason why there’s not an 8‑under out there this afternoon.
“I wouldn’t say easily but, yeah, it’s doable. Just have wait and see.”
While he is happy to be near the pointy end of the pack this early in the tournament, Rumford was realistic when he said having pole position in the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth format is not as crucial as it would be in a regular four round stroke-play event.
He said his main goal over the first three rounds is to secure a position in the top eight in order to give himself the best possible chance in the final rounds match play.
“It’s kind of irrelevant, isn’t it, it’s top 24. Top eight is a priority. Would be nice to have that behind the first round, but match play is a different game.
“So it’s a different game and I think just getting your foot in the door is the number one priority this week regardless of how you score.”
Rumford said he’s looking forward to the final day where the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth will come to life.
He expects a lot more passion and enthusiasm will be shown by players given they’ll be competing directly with only one other golfer rather than an entire field.
“I think it’s going to be pretty exciting. I think it’s going to be great for the viewing, for the spectators,” Rumford said.
“With all these live TVs running up around the golf course, it’s going to be ‑‑ there’s going to be a lot of energy and I think the one thing about stroke play is that you’re playing against 156 other guys in the field thereabouts and you don’t really fist pump when you make a birdie on the first hole in a 72 hole golf tournament. If you do, then you’re made to look a bit of an idiot.
“With match play it’s a different beast. And you see it every time in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup is that it brings out more the personality in the individuals when it goes one-on-one because it’s a very, very direct opponent you’re playing against rather than the field of 156 players.”