Perth, Australia February 14: Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat is excited with another opportunity to earn his maiden breakthrough on the Asian Tour when the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth gets underway on Thursday.
The stocky Thai already has two top-10s in his first four starts on the Asian Tour and believes his entry into the winner’s circle is imminent if he continues to play to his true potential at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club this week.
Like the rest of the strong field that is headlined by world number 11 Alex Noren of Sweden, Panuphol is looking forward to the revolutionary format which will be introduced at the AUD$1.75 million event. Instead of the traditional four-day stroke play format, the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth will combine 54 holes of traditional stroke play across the first three days with an exciting knockout match play format for the fourth and final round.
While Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai may not have any matchplay experience, the 17-year-old is also heading into the Perth showdown in the best of form. He finished tied second in the season-opening Singapore Open last month and also qualified for the Open Championship.
Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang, who ended his 2016 season in a career-high of fourth place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, is also determined to play his way into contention. The 30-year-old is ready to battle for a place in Sunday’s ultimate round, which he believes will be a good start to get more people interested in watching golf.
Interesting facts of the day:
- Panuphol finished tied-29th when he last teed up at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in 2016.
- Phachara and Chan will be playing at Lake Karrinyup for the first time since the Asian Tour made its return to Australia for the first time since 2009 last year.
- The top-eight players after the third round will be rewarded with an automatic seeding into the second matchplay round.
- If players are tied for the top-eight positions, they will be decided by a score count back based on the last 18, 9, 6, 3 and 1 holes.
- In the matchplay round, any matches not decided after the six-hole matchplay will be decided by playing the new ‘Shootout Hole’
- A purpose built 90-metre hole will be constructed with a new tee placed adjacent to the 18th fairway and utilizing the 18th green.
- The shootout hole will be played out, sudden death until a winner emerges.
Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha)
It was a very big week for me last week in Malaysia, especially doing so well with a top-10 finish in a big event there. I’m looking forward to continuing the good form over here in Lake Karrinyup. This is the best start I’ve ever enjoyed since any season started on the Asian Tour. I’m just trying to be a better player every day and get that win. I know what we are doing this week for golf and it’s going to be fun. The strategy is going to be different as we got to be more aggressive when it comes to matchplay. It’s going to be something new and interesting for the fans to see the players battle it out in a different format. This is a very tight golf course, tree-lined and you got to be at your best to do well here.
Alex Noren (Swe)
I obviously feel a lot more pressure than I have before as the top ranked player this week. It’s very nice but at the same time a little bit more pressure. But when you’ve played golf for a long time and you know where you are at, you know what you have to do in order to play well. So I’m just trying to work on those things and not focus too much on what everybody else thinks. This new format is good. I think it’s nice we try new things and it’s going to be nice for the crowds and TV viewers. I’m all for it and it’s good that we’re trying new things to get more people interested in golf.
Chan Shih-chang (Tpe)
It’s (event format) going to be interesting. Not only for the players but for the fans too. I’ve competed in several matchplay events before and although I’ve not won yet, I really like the concept as it’s basically you against your opponent. I really want to get into Sunday’s round but I know I got to do well for the first three rounds before anything else. I’m really excited about the week and I hope this positive vibes will rub off into my performance on the golf course this week.
Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha)
I’ve never been involved in a matchplay event before and that’s why I’m really excited to be here in Perth. I now have a chance to experience what it’s like to be playing under this format and will be determined to do well in the first three rounds to get there. I’m playing well at the moment and it helps I’m able to handle the mental aspects of the game very well too.
About the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth
Headlined by World Number 10 Alex Noren, the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth is set to revolutionise tournament golf. To be played at Lake Karrinyup Country Club from 16-19 February, 2017 and tri-sanctioned by the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, Asian Tour and European Tour, the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth will combine 54 holes of traditional stroke play across the first three days with an exciting knockout match play format for the fourth and final round. A regular cut will fall after 36 holes before the field is then further reduced to the top-24 players following 54 holes of regulation play, with any ties for 24th place being decided by a play-off. Those remaining players will then earn their places in the six-hole shootout. Any matches tied after the six holes will be decided in a hole-by-hole play-off. That player will then progress to the next round of the match play or, in the case of the final match, win the tournament. The ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth is a revolutionary golf tournament designed to retain the traditions of the game whilst appealing to a broader audience.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Sponsor), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official Business Publication Sponsor) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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About the European Tour
The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage. In 2016, the European Tour International Schedule features 47 tournaments in 27 countries, all part of the Race to Dubai, the year-long competition which crowns the European Tour Number One at the end of the season, a title claimed in 2015 by Rory McIlroy for the third time.
Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 25 Members celebrate a total of 51 Major Championship titles between them, enjoyed ten Members attaining the pinnacle of World Number One and has celebrated its diversity as players from 36 different countries have won on Tour.
The European Tour also manages the Challenge Tour, which features 28 tournaments in 22 countries in 2016, and the Senior Tour, which features 13 tournaments in nine countries in 2016. It is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup.
The European Tour broadcasts live coverage of its tournaments to over 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2200 global broadcast hours for each event. It also enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Emirates and Titleist as Official Partners.