ISPS Handa Perth International preview

Lowdown:

The European Tour heads Down Under this week for the ISPS Handa Perth International at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Perth.

The tournament has taken on huge significance as the final regular-season event on the 2013 European Tour roster.

It’s the last chance for those languishing outside the top 110 on the Race to Dubai to force their way inside and retain a tour card for the following season.

As it stands, the likes of Richard Green, Paul McGinley, Thomas Levet, Soren Hansen and Peter Lawrie are outside the mark, with South African James Kingston occupying the unenviable 111th position in the standings.

At the other end of the spectrum, Bo Van Pelt returns to defend his title. He’s joined in the field by compatriot Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey, Ross Fisher, Branden Grace and a collection of other famous names.

The tournament was only instituted last year, and it returns to the same host venue this time around.

Lake Karrinyup Country Club is a relatively short 7,143-yard par 72, so expect to see plenty of birdies this week. The fairways are wide, but anything straying off line will encounter trees, scrubland and perhaps the occasional kangaroo!

Tournament:
ISPS Handa Perth Intenational
Venue: Lake Karrinyup Country Club, Perth, Western Australia
Date: October 17-20
Course stats: par 72, 7,143 yards
Purse: $2,000,000
Defending champion: Bo Van Pelt (-16)

TV Coverage:

Thursday 17 from 10am, Sky Sports 1
Friday 18 from 10am, Sky Sports 2
Saturday 19 from 6am, Sky Sports 2
Sunday 20 from 6am, Sky Sports 3

Player Watch:

Dustin Johnson
– The big-hitting American is capable of making plenty of birdies around this golf course. He’ll also be well rested and determined to play well after being overlooked for the Presidents Cup.

Fredrik Andersson Hed
– The Swede is currently outside the top 110 in the Race to Dubai, but he’s been playing solid golf of late. There is always someone who puts in a good performance to retain a card, and I can see Andersson Hed being that man.

Danny Willett – The Englishman showed glimpses of form at last week’s Portugal Masters and he’ll be looking forward to his first visit to Lake Karrinyup.

Key Hole:

The 533-yard 15th. The closing three holes at Lake Karrinyup will present a stern test, so players will need to take advantage of this reachable par 5, which will produce some eagles throughout the course of the week.