Brett Rumford got off to a terrific start at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in defense of his ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth title.
The 40-year old Aussie shot a first-round 8-under 64 and leads by two shots over compatriot James Nitties and Englishman Lee Westwood.
“I just think there’s some golf courses just suit your eye and others don’t,” said Rumford, who finished with 10 birdies against two bogeys.
“It’s not always the case but generally you find as a trend that a lot of players go back and play well when they’ve had a lot of good performances there, and this is one of them.
“I don’t know what it is but it definitely seems to be some kind of home course advantage.
“I’m leading, I’m inside the top 24 and that’s my only focus this week, finish inside that number. Whether I lead the qualifying again? That would be a nice bonus but it’s not my priority this week and I’m playing accordingly.”
Westwood, who was paired with Rumford in the opening round, was just one back of the leader until a late bogey dropped him into a tie with Nitties at 6-under 66.
“The swing’s just getting better all the time,” said Westwood, 44. “It’s just unfortunate I’ve got a long period of time off after this through different circumstances and I should be working on the game and my fitness over the few weeks after this tournament.
“I played very nicely, very solidly. Hit a lot of good shots, drove the ball well, putted nicely as well without anything really going in for me. I chipped in on 15 for eagle but other than that, everything was pretty close range.
“There was a bit of breeze up but if you hit the ball well, then it’s very scoreable. The golf course is in great condition. If you start putts on line, they tend to go in.
“It was nice to shoot 66. I don’t think this is a tournament where you want to be playing catch-up, really. You want to get yourself in the mix and try and cruise through the second and third days and get into that top 24.”
A group of eight players sit T4 at 5-under par, headlined Aussie Wade Ormsby and Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
After 36 holes, the top 60 players make the cut into Saturday, and then a second cut after 54 holes will trim the field to 24 players. The top-eight players are handed a bye into the second round of Match Play on Sunday.
1 Brett Rumford -8
2 James Nitties -6
2 Lee Westwood -6
4 Wade Ormsby -5
4 Kiradech Aphibarnrat -5
4 Yikeun Chang -5
4 Gareth Paddicon -5
4 Jason Scrivener -5
4 Sébastien Gros -5
4 Prom Meeswat -5
4 Nicholas Fung -5
4 Daisuke Kataoka -5
VIDEO: SHOT OF THE DAY
American David Lipsky with a hole-out eagle on the par-4 4th hole at Lake Karrinyup Country Club. Lipsky sits T13 at 4 under.
“I don’t know what it is but it definitely seems to be some kind of home course advantage.”
– Brett Rumford
Credits: European Tour Media, Getty Images