Last year’s US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel is scheduled to tee off at the Oct. 18 to 21 Perth International, which organizers hope will become a major stop on the golfing calendar for years to come.
With prize money of US$2 million, the event is set to become Australia’s richest and world No. 9 Jason Dufner is another who is scheduled to appear at Lake Karrinyup.
“It’s the biggest purse in Australia and we are pushing for more big names in the run-up to the event,” spokesperson Janine Pittaway said yesterday.
“The event is supported by the tour of Western Australia and the plan is for it to become a long-term tournament for Western Australia, like the Heineken Classic and Johnnie Walker Classic,” she added.
South African Schwartzel has already won seven times on the European Tour, culminating in his stunning victory at last year’s US Masters, where he became the first player to birdie the final four holes to win at Augusta.
The 27-year-old will be bidding to emulate countrymen Gary Player, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, who are all past champions at Lake Karrinyup.
“I have always enjoyed the people and the culture [in Australia], and the great sporting rivalry between our countries in cricket and rugby,” Schwartzel said in a statement.
“I am looking forward to visiting Perth and hopefully I can continue the South African success at Lake Karrinyup,” he added.
Dufner has been a model of consistency this year, with the 35-year-old runner-up at last year’s USPGA Championship and boasting seven top-10 finishes this season.
“I have a real affinity for Australia and have heard a lot of great things about Perth and Western Australia,” said Dufner, set to make his Ryder Cup debut next month.
“Hopefully I can continue my good play Down Under,” he added. “I am excited to have the opportunity to play in Western Australia for the first time.”