ISPS Handa Perth International preview

The European Tour heads to the Southern Hemisphere this week for the inaugural ISPS Handa Perth International, and a host of big names have made the long trip to Karrinyup Country Club on Australia's West Coast

The European Tour heads to the Southern Hemisphere this week for the inaugural ISPS Handa Perth Masters, and a host of big names have made the long trip to Lake Karrinyup Country Club on Australia's West Coast.

As the Race to Dubai draws nearer to its conclusion, players will head to Perth with different goals. Some will be aiming to infiltrate the top 60 in the Race to Dubai standings and book their place at the DP World Tour Championship, while others will be desperately trying to breach the top 115 and earn their European Tour cards for 2013.

Americans Jason Dufner and Bo Van Pelt are two surprise names in the field, which also contains 2011 Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel, 2010 Ryder Cup debutant Edoardo Molinari and Paul Casey.

Schwartzel said: "It's my first time in Perth. I've played Melbourne and Sydney so it's nice to finally come here. I've heard so many good things about it. I played nine holes on the golf course, and it looks good too."

Dufner added: "This is becoming a major event here in Australia and I think it's good for the Australian Tour and good for the European Tour. It's a pretty strong field for the first year and anybody can have a great week and play well."

A host of Australians will also take part in the co-sanctioned event, including Brett Rumford and Greg Chalmers, who won back-to back tournaments in his homeland at the end of last year.

Lake Karrinyup Country Club is a relatively short par-72 at 7,143 yards, so expect to see plenty of birdies this week. The fairways are wide, but anything straying off line will encounter trees and shrubland. Venue: Lake Karrinyup Country Club, Perth, Western Australia Date: October 18-21 Course stats: par 72, 7,143 yards Purse: $2,000,000 Defending champion: -

TV Coverage: Thursday 18th from 6.30am, Sky Sports 1 Friday 19th from 6.30am, Sky Sports 1 Saturday 20th from 6am, Sky Sports 1 Sunday 21st from 6am, Sky Sports 2

Player Watch:

Jason Dufner - Dufner will still be hurting from his Ryder Cup loss, but will hope to continue the form that saw him win three matches from four as a rookie.

Greg Chalmers - the Australian had a good Fed-Ex Cup series and will be confident heading back to his native land, where he won the Emirates Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship is consecutive weeks at the end of 2011.

Charl Schwartzel - The South African put in a good performance at last week's inaugural Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, where he beat Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, and will be hoping to improve upon his current 26th place standing in the Race to Dubai.

Key Hole: The 533-yard 15th. The closing three holes at Lake Karrinyup will present a stern test, so players will need to take advantage of this reachable par-5, which will produce some eagles throughout the course of the week.

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x