Australian golfing legend Brett Rumford believes Jake Higginbottom could be the man to take out this afternoon’s Oates Vic Open from what he has seen firsthand this week.
The 23-year-old Higginbottom backed his seven-under-par second round campaign alongside Rumford with another impressive six birdie afternoon yesterday.
“This is going to be a very difficult afternoon and it really just comes to a ball striking day,” Rumford reveals.
“I think Jake Higginbottom (NSW) is definitely one to watch, the way he was flighting the golf ball lower when I played with him on Friday so his game is coming along well”
“Matty Giles (2013 winner) is also another strong player so you need to look at those guys with a bit of strength and ball flight.”
Rumford swiftly finished his tournament this morning alongside Michael Hendry (New Zealand) by shooting two-under par for the morning in three hours and 20 minutes.
While his final score of nine-under-par for the tournament may be enough for a top-20 finish, the 39-year old already looks forward to next year’s event if available.
“I’d like to come back, I’ve really enjoyed this week and I think it sits well in my calendar; if I can fit it in next year then I’ll come back for sure,” Rumford said.
“I’ve won my own (Western Australia) open but to win any state open, whether it be Victorian or in Queensland, is quite the prestigious honour in Australian golf.”
Rumford has proven to have been a crowd favourite this week by attracting large galleries throughout the tournament.
“You don’t notice it when you’re not paired with them but it is really nice to be able to warm up with the girls and it adds to the week because it’s something I’ve never experienced,” he said.
“It also took me a few holes to get accustomed to how close the fans were but it was good.”
“We trialed it at the Australian Open with the little walkways where the public could come out and watch from behind the player and it gives a different perspective”
He continued, “It’s also nice to chat to people on the fairways when there’s a nice number of 50 or so people and ‘links golf’ helps with that because there’s enough land for them to disperse.”
Rumford was also spotted yesterday helping out German Olympic representative Sandra Gal in the practice bunker prior to her final round.
“It proves that no matter what level you play at the thirst for knowledge and for improvement is just a continuation,” Rumford explained.
“I see a lot of players who come for advice and that shows with her (Gal); she’s a great player who has the need to keep improving.”