Charl Schwartzel and Jason Dufner confirm their appearance at the Perth International in October.
There have been 13 first time winners from the past 17 major golf tournaments. The spread of limelight means is perhaps indirectly good for golf in Australia with more well-known golfers on the global golf landscape being lured to foreign shores to purvey their craft.
Organisers of the Perth International announced that former US Masters winner Charl Schwartzel and American Jason Dufner have confirmed their spot in the field. These two golfers are great examples of the shared limelight in the post-Tiger dominance age, with tournaments keen to fill their fields with major winners and future stars.
Schwartzel is one of the 13 first time major winners from the past 17 which has seen a more even spread of focus that was once solely the domain of Tiger Woods. While Woods still garners as much publicity as any of these guys despite not winning a major since 2008, his share of the limelight is less than it was.
“It has been a while since I was down in Australia for a Tour event but I have always enjoyed the people and the culture there and the great sporting rivalry between our countries in cricket and rugby. I am looking forward to visiting Perth and hopefully I can continue the South African success at Lake Karrinyup,” said Schwartzel who is looking to emulate countrymen Gary Player, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen who have all won golf tournaments at Lake Karrinyup.
Dufner too is a name that most Australian golf fans would know thanks largely to his infamous duel with Keegan Bradley at the 2010 US PGA Championship. Dufner has played in Australia before of course but now he is one of the young guns of American golf who will be a part of the American Ryder Cup team in September and looks set to contest many more majors to come.
“I have a real affinity for Australia and have heard a lot of great things about Perth and Western Australia. I am really looking forward to experiencing another part of Australia and hopefully I can continue my good play down under. I am excited to have the opportunity to play in Western Australia for the first time and hope the community will really support this new event,” said Dufner.
On the back of the news that several big name golfers including Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell have confirmed their attendance at the Australian Masters in November it is a sign that with money, Australian golf tournaments can still lure some of the best golfers in the world. Obviously IMG who own both events are doing their best for golf in the country and their events, but with more well-known golfers to choose from it must be a little easier for them.
While we are not currently seeing a domination from any one or two particular golfers on the world stage, it’s possibly a good thing from an Australian point of view but things may change next year.
Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour have made plans to change the format and schedule of the world’s premier golf tour which will give more incentive for golfers to stay on the tour for the full year – including across the Australian summer. It may mean Australia’s own best golfers are less interested in coming home as well as the big international players, and may be the death knell to internationally recognised Australian golf tournaments.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy what is looking like another big summer of Australian golf ahead with International stars in the fields and rumours of more to be announced soon. Watch this space.
The Perth International will be held from October 18 – 21, 2012 and is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the European Tour and with prize money of US$2,000,000 it is the richest tournament in Australia. Tickets are now on sale direct from the event website.