Jason Dufner kicks a footy and hits golf balls at Patersons Stadium

The ISPS HANDA Perth International tees off this week at Lake Karrinyup and Jason Dufner returns to golf from a neck injury.

The first big golf tournament of the Australian summer tees off in Perth this week when the stunning Lake Karrinyup Golf Club plays host to the third ISPS HANDA Perth International.

Played for AU$1.75million, the Perth International is Australia’s richest professional golf tournament and the only one co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the European Tour.

American Jason Dufner headlines a strong field and he spent Tuesday out on Subiaco Oval hitting golf balls and kicking an AFL football around with Geoff Ogilvy and Brett Rumford.

The trio took part in the ‘Subi Shoot Out’ Challenge which saw them drive a golf ball from one end of Patersons Stadium, the home of AFL football in Western Australia, to a target between the goal posts at the other end of the field – 180m away.

After a few attempts, a couple of near misses, and a move to the centre square, Rumford was the first to hit the target – a 20m high football suspended between the posts.

“This is the first Aussie football stadium I’ve been to. The field size is much bigger than what we see in the States for our football.” Dufner said.

Dufner Subiaco

Afterwards St.Kilda tragic Geoff Ogilvy and West Coast supporter Brett Rumford had a kick of the footy with Dufner.

“I think we got Jason kicking the proper drop punt. He was trying to do the NFL spiral thing. It was good fun” Ogilvy said.

Clearly Dufner looks to be over any lingering neck injury which forced him to withdraw from the 2014 US PGA Championship and ruled him out of the Ryder Cup.

“I feel much better physically. I feel a little bit rested mentally. I’m excited to get back to playing some competitive golf over the next month or so,” Dufner said.

“I totally detached myself from golf during that point. I wasn’t too interested in golf or what was going on in the golfing world during that time period. I didn’t watch one minute of the Ryder Cup,” added Dufner.

Geoff Ogilvy

Dufner finished runner-up at the inaugural Perth International in 2012 but has little expectations this week, citing playing without pain would be an achievement.

“I haven’t played competitive golf in 11 weeks. I don’t have that many expectations,” said Dufner.

Tickets are available for the 2014 Perth International with a live broadcast from 1pm each day on 7Two.

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