2011 Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel will play in Perth.
Jason Dufner, currently ranked number nine in the world, and Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters Champion, are the first international stars to be announced for the Perth International to be played from 18 to 21 October at Lake Karrinyup Country Club, Perth, Western Australia.
Tourism Minister Dr Kim Hames has welcomed the announcement.
“The Perth International marks WA’s return to the international golf calendar and it’s great to see players the calibre of Jason Dufner and Charl Schwartzel heading the field. The State Government, through Eventscorp, is a proud supporter of the Perth International,” Dr Hames said.
Dufner, from the United States, was described by Sports Illustrated Magazine in June as “the hottest golfer on the planet”. The 35-year-old was runner-up at the 2011 US PGA Championship and has enjoyed a stellar 2012 season with seven top 10 finishes highlighted by wins at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and HP Byron Nelson Championship.
He sits third on the PGA TOUR money list and will make his debut in the Ryder Cup next month.
“I have a real affinity for Australia and have heard a lot of great things about Perth and Western Australia. I am really looking forward to experiencing another part of Australia and hopefully I can continue my good play down under. I am excited to have the opportunity to play in Western Australia for the first time and hope the community will really support this new event,” said Dufner.
Schwartzel from South Africa has already won seven times on the European Tour highlighted by his stunning victory at the 2011 Masters Tournament where he became the first player in history to birdie the final four holes to win the coveted Green Jacket. The 27-year-old will look to emulate the feats of his fellow countrymen Gary Player, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen who are all past champions at Lake Karrinyup.
This marks Charl’s first appearance in Perth. “It has been a while since I was down in Australia for a Tour event but I have always enjoyed the people and the culture there and the great sporting rivalry between our countries in cricket and rugby. I am looking forward to visiting Perth and hopefully I can continue the South African success at Lake Karrinyup,” commented Charl.
The Perth International is owned and promoted by IMG and is the collective vision of Eventscorp, a division of Tourism Western Australia, and IMG to see a major international golf event played annually in Perth.
The Perth International is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the European Tour and with prize money of US$2,000,000 it is the richest tournament in Australia. It is also the only event in Australia co-sanctioned with the European Tour and will be broadcasted globally via the European Tour Television.
The winner of the event will receive an exemption to the World Golf Championships – HSBC Champions.