The draw cards for this week’s Perth International did some sightseeing around Perth today, and make unlikely backpacking buddies.
Jason Dufner and Charl Schwartzel make an unlikely sightseeing couple but the pair of them took to the sights of Perth over the past few days before teeing it up in this week’s US$2million Perth International.
For Jason Dufner, it was his first time to Perth but is very familiar with golf in Australia, a third place finish at the infamous 2009 Australian Masters his best result.
“I always enjoy playing here in Australia. I’ve played in Adelaide four or five times. I played the Aussie Masters in Melbourne a couple years ago.” Dufner said. “So I’ve always enjoyed coming over here and the opportunity presented itself to come over here and play during this time period when our tour is a little bit slower now with the FedExCup being over and our regular season being over.”
Schwartzel is also a first-timer to Perth and spent most of the day in the air over the Western Australian coastline in a helicopter.
“I was fortunate enough yesterday to get a bird’s eye view of how Perth looks. It’s fantastic. We came over the golf course. It looked so flat out of the air, and then obviously we played today. It’s a lot easier than what it looks from the top.”
Schwartzel is looking to emulate some of South Africa’s great golfers who have also experienced success at Lake Karrinyup golf course. Ernie Els and Retief Goosen won the 2002 and 2003 Johnnie Walker Classic, while Gary Player won the Australian Open at Lake Karrinyup in 1974.
“It’s obviously something that would be nice to follow in their footsteps. They have had good success out here, so you know, I suppose no pressure then.” Schwartzel said.
Schwartzel said he held no regrets at the cruel way he broke Australian hearts at the 2011 US Masters where he edged out Aussies Jason Day, Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy for the green jacket.
“I didn’t think it was cruel (laughing). It was such a tight finish. It was always going to come down to someone that made a race to the end there at the last few holes. There was ten guys that could win it. I was the fortunate one to make all of those birdies coming in. There was guys that was chipping in on Thursday, too.”