The dust has settled at Lake Karrinyup Country Club after the inaugural ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth tournament concluded on Sunday.
The eyes of the golfing world were fixed on Perth and it’s safe to say there was plenty to talk about after round four’s match play was completed.
Leader for the entire tournament and eventual winner Brett Rumford had a right to feel short changed after completing round three with a commanding five shot lead on the field, in any other tournament he’d be in a prime position but in the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth format, all he was assured was number one seeding and a round one bye on the final day.
That set the scene for an exhilarating four rounds of match play for the West Australian; he said the emotional toll of playing to stay alive in the tournament was just as taxing physically.
“It was really unique; it was a unique challenge in winning a golf championship seeing that you’re actually feeling the same emotions and same tension and pressure for six holes, four matches straight,” Rumford said.
The inaugural champion gave his thoughts on the new format saying he could see it being adopted elsewhere but the right course is crucial to the success of the final day’s match play.
“I think six holes is just enough. I also think that the setup of Lake Karrinyup, I think it’s one of the few golf courses that it can work at as well because you’ve got one par 5, couple short par 4’s, one short par 3, one long ish par 3 and three really really good par 4s.
“So I think for left and right hander with the prevailing winds or not, there’s no favor there because the whole golf course does kind of a loop so the two holes to my favor, a left hander, it turns on a couple holes and then it’s against him.
“So I think it’s quite unique, this golf course, and I think from a viewing platform as well you can just walk pretty much straight across the holes. Everything works.
“I just think it’s been a great format, great week. Whether this can actually work elsewhere, I think you’d have to be quite selective about golf courses that could cater this, but this one works.”
Marquee player in the tournament Louis Oosthuizen fell victim to Adam Bland in the quarter finals after a thrilling three trips to the purpose built shootout hole.
Despite bowing out early and finishing 5th, the South African’s impression of the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth was very positive.
“I think they’ve got a good concept. I think a few tweaks here and there would make it really good, but, yeah, I mean it’s nerve racking standing on that little 66 metre hole and, you know, every time I was there I was second off and my playing partner would hit it stiff so it’s nice pressure and good fun,” Oosthuizen said.
“So I think there’s potential where they can move a few things around on this golf course and do it their way. But the format and the way it sets up, the idea is brilliant.
“I think it can really work and there’s a lot of positive to take out of it, but definitely a few tweaks they need to do.”
Jason Scrivener, another West Australian local, finished 4th in the first running of the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth and can certainly see a place for innovative tournaments of its ilk around the world.
“I think it’s been great for all the spectators and I’m sure everyone at home watching is enjoying it as well, I think more of these would be great,” Scrivener said.
“For the first time they did a really good job I think. Obviously it’s hard to get every aspect of it right, but, yeah I think it could definitely go around the world.”
Scrivener said the unpredictability of the match play format provides an element of the unknown, not seen in regular 72 hole stroke play events, which just adds to the excitement of the tournament, he was knocked out of the event by 24th seed and eventual runner-up Phachara Khongwatmai.
“I think sometimes it’s (regular stroke play) a bit boring to watch on TV, so that was pretty exciting. I was watching myself yesterday afternoon, it was pretty exciting.
“And to see the guy that I played from Thailand, he was the last man in and he has a chance to win the entire thing, so I think it’s great.”
But it was the eventual champion Rumford who perhaps summed up the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth the best in the simplest of terms.
“When it comes down to the nitty gritty you have to dig deep. And this game, match play, it kind of does that. You just do what you have to do.
“It’s pretty black and white, it’s right there in front of your face. You hole it, you stay in it. You miss, you’re out.”