Important two weeks for Brett Rumford
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles | Preview | 21 Aug 2013
If Brett Rumford is to have any chance of gaining what appears at this stage to be an unlikely International Presidents Cup Team berth, he will need something very special out of the next two weeks at the Johnnie Walker Classic and the Wales Open.
Rumford is currently in 18th position in the Presidents Cup standings. On September 1st, those players 10th or better on that list are automatic selections but with two captain’s picks also available then a good two week surge might make captain Nick Price sit up and take notice of the West Australian.
Importantly for Rumford’s chances is that he finished runner-up to Paul Lawrie last year and runner-up again in 2010 at this event and venue.
The Johnnie Walker Championship is again played at the Gleneagles Hotel, its home since inception in 2003 although its equivalent the Scottish PGA Championship was also played here for four years earlier.
The Jack Nicklaus designed Centenary layout is one of three at the historic resort in the hills near Auchterarder in Perthshire, this layout though built in 1993 and a great complement to the adjacent Kings and Queens layouts.
The field is not particularly strong with many of Europe’s best in New Jersey this week for the opening event of the FedEx Cup Final series.
Francesco Molinari is the leading world ranked player in the field and has played well over recent weeks in fields much stronger then he will face this week. On that basis his chances look good.
Given that the Italian has finished 6th and 3rd in two of his last three starts in the event makes his chances even better.
Thomas Bjorn was the champion in 2011 and although a little below his best in recent weeks was playing very well earlier in the season. If he can rediscover any of that form then on a golf course he obviously likes he stands a very good chance.
Other Australasians in the field are Michael Campbell, Marcus Both, Richard Green, Andrew Dodt, Scott Arnold and Scott Hend.