Rumford up by 2 in title defense

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AUSTRALIAN Brett Rumford launched the defense of his World Super 6 title in Perth in style by grabbing a two-stroke lead at the end of the opening round of the unique event.
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AUSTRALIAN Brett Rumford launched the defense of his World Super 6 title in Perth in style by grabbing a two-stroke lead at the end of the opening round of the unique event yesterday.

The 40-year-old Perth native carded an 8-under-par 64 to stay ahead of former world No. 1 Lee Westwood of England and fellow Australian James Nitties.

Last year Rumford led from start to finish to win the event which features three days of strokeplay after which the top 24 advance to Sunday’s matchplay knockout phase.

“I just think there’s some golf courses just suit your eye and others don’t,” Rumford said after making 10 birdies and two bogeys in his round at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Western Australia.

“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’s opening round of 66 contained five birdies and an eagle with his only blemish coming on the 8th hole.

The 44-year-old was content with a solid opening round.

“I played very nicely, very solidly,” Westwood said.

“I hit a lot of good shots, drove the ball well, putted nicely as well without anything really going in for me.

Nine golfers were tied for fourth, three strokes behind Rumford.

Andrew (Beef) Johnston, who played with Rumford and Westwood, shot 73. He was a late replacement for fellow Englishman Tyrrell Hatton, who was the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 15 before withdrawing with a wrist injury. Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion, was 4 over after shooting a 76, and he and compatriot Johnston were in danger of missing the cut.


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