The ISPS Handa Perth International, traditionally played towards the end of the year, moves to a new February slot on the European Tour calendar, with Lake Karrinyup CC once again set to host the European Tour’s best.
Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen won the tournament the last time in was played in October of 2014, and remains one of the likely contenders for this year’s edition.
Also in the running is Louis Oosthuizen, despite making his debut in Australia this week. The South African’s fellow countrymen Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Gary Player have all won at Lake Karrinyup before, and the course should suit Oosthuizen’s game – particularly if the winds pick up as predicted over the first couple of days.
Frenchman Victor Dubuisson has more experience in Australia, and while he is coming off a poor showing at the Qatar Masters, his previous four events were all solid. Dubuisson also finished second behind Olesen at this event in 2014.
The Australian contingent must also be taken into consideration. The likes of Marcus Fraser and Brett Rumford know the conditions and will have home support to count on. Fraser has just won the Maybank Championship Malaysia, and could hardly have asked for a better follow-up tournament.
Other players who are heading into the event on the back of some solid form include James Morrison, Mikko Ilonen, Peter Uihlein and Lucas Bjerregaard.
Morrison shot a 62 at this venue back in 2014, before going on to finish T4. He’s also fresh off a T15 in Malaysia.
Ilonen finished just outside of the top 10 in Malaysia last week, and has four top 25s in four starts this year. The Finn’s putter has been particularly hot, which will stand him in good stead this week.
Uihlein was another player to excel on this course back in 2014, while Bjerregaard looks to be returning to the kind of form that saw him pick up four top-five finishes during a three-month period late last year.