The European Tour travels to Australia this week for the ISPS HANDA Perth International at Lake Karrinyup Country Club. Jin Jeong of South Korea is the defending champion.

Lowdown:
The European Tour travels to Australia this week for the ISPS HANDA Perth International at Lake Karrinyup Country Club. Jin Jeong of South Korea is the defending champion.

A good field has assembled for this event with many big name players making the journey to Western Australia. Charl Schwartzel will be joined on the start sheet by fellow Major champions, Jason Dufner and Geoff Ogilvy.

French Ryder Cup star Victor Dubuisson will tee it up, as will Steven Bowditch of Australia – winner of the 2014 Valero Texas Open on the PGA Tour.

This is the final event of the regular 2014 European Tour season. At the conclusion of the tournament the top 110 players on the Race to Dubai will retain their playing privileges for 2015. This will be a nervous week for many, as players look to move up the list or to secure their spot in the top 110.

Right on the bubble in 110th spot is Lee Slattery of England who moved up with a good showing in last week’s Hong Kong Open. But, he’s less than €5,000 ahead of his countryman Matthew Nixon who lies 111th. With over €200,000 going to the winner of this event and, with a target of roughly €230,000 required to earn a card for 2015, it’s clearly all to play for in Perth.

This tournament is something of a newcomer to the European Tour schedule. It first appeared as a fixture on the circuit in 2012 when Bo Van Pelt of the USA was the winner.

Last year, South Korea’s Jin Jeong overcame Ross Fisher at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to take the title. With the victory, Jeong avoided a trip to European Tour Q School. Many in the field will be looking to emulate that feat this week.

There could be showers in Perth on Thursday but the forecast looks reasonable after that. This is a course that has witnessed low scoring in the past. Back in 2003, Ernie Els won the Johnnie Walker Classic at Lake Karrinyup with a four-round total of 29-under-par – a European Tour scoring record.

Venue: Lake Karrinyup CC, Perth, Australia
Date: Oct 23-26
Course stats: par 72, 7,143 yards
Purse: €1,200,000
Defending Champion: Jin Jeong (-10)

TV Coverage:

Thursday 23 – Sky Sports 4 from 4.30am
Friday 24 – Sky Sports 4 from 4.30am
Saturday 25 – Sky Sports 4 from 4am
Sunday 26 – Sky Sports 4 from 3am

Player Watch:

Marcus Fraser – Twice a winner on the European tour, Fraser has been off the circuit in 2014. But he showed excellent form in the Hong Kong Open last week and could have contended for the title had it not been for a disappointing final round – in the end he was tied fifth. He finished in the top-20 in this event last year.

Raphael Jacquelin – He’s enjoyed some good form over the last month, most recently a tie for ninth last week in Hong Kong. He was in with a shout at the Dunhill Links before a poor final round.

Thorbjorn Olesen – The Dane will be looking to move into the top-60 on the Race to Dubai with a good result here. His form on the European Tour has been solid if not spectacular, but his last round at the Portugal Masters was an excellent 64.

Key Holes: 14th and 15th. The 14th is a short par-4 of just 330 yards. It turns gently from right to left and offers the longer hitters a chance of reaching with a well-shaped drive. The 15th is then a reachable par-5 of 530 yards. The players will expect to play these two in two-under-par, and anything worse than that will feel like chances wasted.