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Golf | European Tour

Rumford wins first World Super 6 title



Hometown hero Brett Rumford nailed his final drive to beat Thai teenager Phachara Khongwatmai 2&1 in the six-hole matchplay final to win the inaugural World Super 6 title in Perth on Sunday and claim back his European Tour card.

Despite the innovative format, the 39-year-old Australian put together what was effectively a wire-to-wire victory at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club, having finished the first three rounds of strokeplay with a five-shot lead.

The final was all square until the fourth hole when Rumford somehow got himself out of the trees, over a bunker and onto the green with a brilliant second shot before sinking a 10-foot putt to take the lead.

At the par-three penultimate hole, Rumford hit his tee shot to within three feet of the flag, while Phachara found the greenside bunker and had no luck putting his way out of the sand to effectively concede the contest.

"It's amazing, particularly with the new format, the first win in that," said Rumford.

"It's been a long, hard-fought week (and) I'm really proud of myself."

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It was a sixth European Tour victory for Rumford, who turned professional the year after Phachara was born, and re-secured him the tour rights he lost at the end of last year.

"It's massive," he added. "I had a tough year but I'm back and I couldn't be happier."

While Rumford dominated all four days of the tournament, Phachara had trailed by nine shots after round three and grabbed the 24th and final spot in Sunday's matchplay knockout series with a par at the third playoff hole.

The 17-year-old was on fire on Sunday, however, and wins over locals Sam Brazel, Lucas Herbert, Matt Millar and Jason Scrivener put him into the final of the event, also co-sanctioned by the Australasian PGA and Asian Tours.

He faced a long wait as Rumford battled his way past Adam Bland in the semifinals and his touch ultimately deserted him at the end of a long day in the Perth sunshine.

Asked whether it was fair that a player nine shots off the pace after the third round should be in the hunt for the title at the end of day four, Rumford, the trophy safely in his hands, said he was happy with anything that was good for the sport.

"It really comes down to the people and golf is bigger than one person," he said.

"If it's going to grow the game ... and brings a bit more excitement and thrill, if that's what we've created, then I think we've done a great job."

Bland, who knocked out former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen in the quarterfinals, finished third after beating Scrivener 1-up in a playoff.

South African Oosthuizen had to settle for fifth place after seeing off Australian Steven Jeffress 1-up in the fifth-sixth place playoff.

MATCHPLAY SCORES

FIRST ROUND

Hideto Tanihara BEAT Duncan Stewart (1UP)
Wade Ormsby BEAT Pep Angles (1UP)
Johannes Veerman BEAT Daniel Fox (3rd special hole)
Adam Bland BEAT Thomas Detry (2nd special hole)
Matthew Millar BEAT Casey O'toole (1UP)
Phachara Khongwatmai BEAT Sam Brazel (1UP)
David Bransdon BEAT Jeev Milkha Singh (1st special hole)
Nick Cullen BEAT Ryan Evans (2UP)

SECOND ROUND

Brett Rumford BEAT Hideto Tanihara (2and1)
Wade Ormsby BEAT Jake Higginbottom (4th special hole)
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN BEAT Johannes Veerman (3rd special hole)
Adam Bland BEAT Adam Blyth (1UP)
Matthew Millar BEAT Austin Connelly (2and1)
Phachara Khongwatmai BEAT Lucas Herbert (1UP)
Steven Jefress BEAT David Bransdon (1UP)
Jason Scrivner BEAT Nick Cullen (2and1)

QUARTERFINALS

Brett Rumford BEAT Wade Ormsby (2nd special hole)
Adam Bland BEAT LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN v (3rd special hole)
Phachara Khongwatmai BEAT Matthew Millar (2and1)
Jason Scrivner BEAT Steven Jefress v (2nd special hole)

PLAYOFFS (5TH-8TH)

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN BEAT Wade Ormsby (3and2)
Matthew Millar BEAT Steven Jefress (2nd special hole)

SEMIFINALS

Brett Rumford BEAT Adam Bland (1UP)
Phachara Khongwatmai BEAT Jason Scrivner (3and1)

PLAYOFFS (7TH AND 8TH)

Matthew Millar BEAT Wade Ormsby (1st special hole)

PLAYOFFS (5TH AND 6TH)

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN BEAT Steven Jefress (1UP)

PLAYOFFS (3RD AND 4TH)

Adam Bland BEAT Jason Scrivner (1UP)

FINAL

Brett Rumford BEAT Phachara Khongwatmai (2and1)



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