European Tour heads Down Under for final full field event of 2014.
Before the season-ending Finals events get underway on the European Tour there’s the small matter of Australia’s richest golf tournament.
The Lake Karrinyup Country Club might be about as far from Europe as you can go but the tournament is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and carries a $2 million prize fund. There’s a strong European flavour to the field as well as three Major champions. Keep reading for our preview of the 2014 ISPS Handa Perth International.
Last event before the European Tour Finals series
The ISPS HANDA Perth International is the only Australian tournament to be co-sanctioned by The European Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia. It’s the richest golf tournament in Australia and is now in its third year.
American Jason Dufner won the inaugural event with Jin Jeong taking the title last year in a play-off.
A low score will be needed to win with Jeong shooting 19 under par in 2013. History was made at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club in 2003 when Ernie Els set the European Tour record for the lowest winning 72 hole total in relation to par of 259 (-29) at the Johnnie Walker Classic.
The favourites for the Perth International
2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzl is the 10/1 favourite this year after some encouraging performances in 2014.
Schwartzl currently lies 16th in the Race to Dubai rankings and is therefore in line to receive a share of the Bonus Pool, which is divided between the top 15 players.
After top 15 finishes at both the Open and the US PGA the 30 year old shot an opening round 75 at the recent Alfred Dunhill Championship and missed the cut. He will be hoping to bounce back this week.
After a promising season and having reached the quarter-final of the Volvo World Matchplay last week it’s no surprise that Ryder Cup star Victor Dubuisson features among the favourites in Western Australia.
The Frenchman is 7th in this year’s Race to Dubai although he hasn’t won an individual title this season. It’s his debut in Perth but he could go well at 12/1.
2012 champion Jason Dufner is available at 16/1 whilst Geoff Ogilvy plays a regular stroke play event on the European Tour for the first time since the 2010 Alstom Open de France.
Ogilvy was a recent winner on the PGA Tour and the home favourite is 16/1 to win his first European Tour title since 2009.
Some outsiders to consider in the betting
It’s been a challenging year for since his win in Perth twelve months ago but the Korean is positive ahead of his return to Lake Karrinyup this week.
“It’s great to be back,” said the Melbourne resident, who beat Ross Fisher in a play-off last year.
“When I got to the first tee yesterday, good memories came into my head. I felt fresh again. I haven’t been playing great for the last four or five months, but I’ve been hitting it pretty well this week so far so I think being here is helping me.”
“I always enjoy this place. The course really suits my game. There’s a little bit of pressure on me, seeing myself on posters on the walls, but it’s a good experience.”
Jeong is a lowly 121st on the Race to Dubai but could perform much better than his odds of 150/1 suggest.
Home favourite Steven Bowditch made a terrific start to the new PGA Tour season last week when he finished in second place at the Frys.com Open with a score of 13 under par.
The 31 year old was a winner in the US in 2014 and could become just the seventh Australian to win a European Tour event on home soil.
Bowditch looks great value at 35/1.
Check out all our pre-tournament odds on the 2014 ISPS Handa Perth International over in our golf betting section now.