EUROPEAN TOUR specialist (@Vince_RFC) shares his expert opinion on this week's World Super 6 event from Perth.
World Super 6 | 8th-11th February 2018 | Sky Sports
It’s Down Under for the second renewal of the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth this week.
It’s another tri-sanctioned tournament this one between the European Tour, Asian Tour and the Tour of Australasia held at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Perth.
It’s a quirky tournament this one, a mixture of regular stroke play and match-play so it’s worth mentioning how it works.
There a normal cut after the first two round (nothing untoward there) but there’s also another cut after the third round, cutting the field down to 24.
These all come back on Sunday to play knockout match-play over six holes until one man is left standing. The top eight on the regular leaderboard are seeded and get a bye to the second round.
If my memory serves me right, the other 16 were randomly drawn into a bracket on the Saturday evening. I might be wrong but I can’t see any link between the leaderboard and bracket so will presume for now that it’ll be the same this year.
Personally, I quite liked the six hole match-play element last year although it’s safe to say there were mixed views. A lot of the negatives were due to logistics though, for example, one semi-final started an hour before the second, I think.
If they can cut out little things like that it would be a big help. Saying that, the first couple of days are a bit pointless but it’s something different and hopefully we’ll see more ‘short-form’ golf in the future.
Previous form and approach
I was sceptical about if the seeds would benefit from having a bye and the results were inconclusive – four of the eight lost their first match-play match.
I also wondered this time last year if youngsters or the more experienced would benefit from the format but there wasn’t anything to suggest it suits one or the other.
A prime example being the final was contested between a 17 year-old and 39 year-old veteran. It was the veteran local Brett Rumford who deservedly took the title after leading the field by five shots after round three and coming through a tough draw on the Sunday.
From a betting perspective this isn’t a greatest or easiest of tournaments to analyse. I think the best tactic is to treat it as a regular 72-hole stroke-play event and hope for some luck and a kind draw come Sunday.
The bookies are offering both tournament winner and 54-hole winner, which is something to consider, but I’m sticking to the trickier task of tournament winner. Worth noting the bookies are going four places this week so reaching the semi-finals is the requirement for a pay-out.
The favourites are at 25/1, indicating how wide open and unpredictable this is going to be. A better approach may well be to pick a handful of names out at random but I’ll give it a go.
To makesthings harder there’s a whole raft of Australians in the field I’ve never heard of. Considering six of the final eight last year were Aussies, I’m not overly confident.
Hideto Tanihara (33/1 Coral)
First up is Hideto Tanihara at 33/1 (Coral). He comes into this off the back of a tied-fifth finish in Malaysia last week and has got some good recent match-play history.
I suspect just having some match-play experience under his belt puts him ahead of many of his competitors.
Last year at the WGC Matchplay he got all the way to the semi-finals, eventually finishing third. On route he beat Jordan Spieth, Yuta Ikeda, Paul Casey, Ross Fisher and Bill Haas. With the exception of possibly Ikeda, there’s no one in this field better than any of them.
The Japanese man made it to the second knockout round last year before being beaten by in-form Rumford so has some course experience, which is always a bonus. Whether match-play form is relevant or not isn’t clear but he’s got the best credentials of anyone else if it is.
Chase Koepka (80/1 Bet365)
Chase Koepka should be a semi-familiar name; his brother Brooks won the US Open last year.
Anyway, younger brother Chase is following a very similar path in taking the unfamiliar American route of joining the European Tour rather staying on home soil.
He’s not made a bad start after gaining his full-time European Tour card on the Challenge Tour last season finishing tied-seventh at the South African Open four weeks ago.
He’s not played since but he could turn out to be a step above most this field in a few years time. This could definitely be the type of tournament he takes to so I’m prepared to back him at 80/1 (Bet365).
Steven Jeffress (125/1 Blacktype)
I’m going to take a punt so to speak on a couple of big odds Aussies.
First up, Steven Jeffress at 125/1 (BlackType). The 42 year-old was tied-second in the stroke-play element last year before crashing out in his second match on the Sunday.
He comes back with a bit of form to speak of having recorded tied-fifth at the Victorian Open on the Australasia Tour last week. Hopefully he can replicate last year’s performance again.
Simon Hawkes (200/1 Ladbrokes)
Finally, Simon Hawkes at 200/1 (Ladbrokes).
I have to be honest and say I don’t know anything about him. However, he won his first title at Victorian Open last week which has given his a place in his first European Tour event this week.
He’s not played all that many tournaments in his career but did try out the Makenzie Tour in Canada unsuccessfully last year so has some experience of new challenges.
It might be a bit of a stretch to think he can win this but seeing as it’s not a standard 72-hole tournament, you never know. He’s in form after winning last week so for me at least he’s worth chancing at a big price.