The six-time Tour winner fronted the press at Lake Karrinyup today and suggested he would be free-wheeling when the gun goes off Thursday in a format that is volatile to say the least.
There will be 156 golfers start the week and after 36 holes of strokeplay the field will be reduced to the top 65.
After the third round just 24 will remain, the top eight getting a reprieve from the first round of six-hole matches that will eventually determine the winner.
“Six holes match play, if you get off to a slow start or someone gets off to a fast start, which every single player in this field is capable of doing, then you're on the back foot,” Rumford noted in his pre-tournament press conference.
“So everyone's a threat this week with the format. Once the match play rounds begin, it's a bit like tennis; you're not playing 154 other players all of a sudden, you're just playing five rounds and you've got a championship.
“And it's five individual players as well, so you've just got to take one match at a time, one player at a time and just chip away at it.
“I'm not taking anything from last year. I played great golf, and if I can replicate what I did last year in terms of my form coming into this event, then I'll give myself another good chance of winning.”
Added pressure, though, won’t be a part of the equation. Rumford was playing not only in front of partisan home fans last year but for his professional future, as well.
That’s not the case in 2018 for the 41-year-old.
“After missing my card last year there was definitely a greater incentive to win this week,” he said of his 2017 heroics.
“But there's winning, there's also winning in front of your home state as well that put greater pressure on me as well, so there's a lot of factors that I was really proud of for winning last year.
“So this year I feel as though there's definitely a bit more pressure off the shoulders and yeah, just go out and just play. Hopefully, my best golf can prevail again.”
Golf aside, Rumford said he is happy to be a part of some further innovation to be introduced this week when several players will wear microphones that will allow the golfers to chat with the commentary team from the course.
“I'm happy to actually get mic'd up,” he said when asked about the unusual step.
“And yeah, it's different, it's unique and I think Keith Pelley along with the European Tour, that's exactly what we're trying to achieve I think with these events and others throughout the year is just create a bit of difference and obviously just create a bit more of a spectacle as well for the viewers.”
Rumford is one of several high profile players teeing up in the event which starts Thursday, Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston and Lee Westwood also in the field.
The unique format of the tournament has attracted plenty of attention and Rumford is a supporter of changing things up in professional golf – within reason.
“I don't think overdoing it is the way to go,” he said of the non traditional format.
“But I think having certain events at certain times of the year that are a little bit different, a little bit outside the box as well and not just your standard 72‑hole stroke play events is a good thing.
“I think we had some really good feedback (last year) and I think we just have to wait and see, tune into the coverage and check the numbers after this week.
“I know that last year got tremendous interest just with the different format, just to see how it would go, and I think it was a huge success.”
BRETT RUMFORD TALKS SHORT GAME THOUGHTS:
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