"It's like a fifth major" - Brett Rumford on his love for the Irish Open

Australian won the tournament in 2004 and spoke to Off The Ball at Portstewart

BY Raf Diallo 20:47 Friday 7 July 2017, 20:47 7 Jul 2017

Brett Rumford with the trophy©INPHO/ Tom Honan

If you try to Google Brett Rumford's name, the first thing that pops up beside it is "short game".

Such is the potency of that side of the Australian's repertoire on the golf course, that he is readily associated with the short game.

But on these shores, Rumford is best remembered for winning the 2004 Irish Open as he finished four strokes clear of home favourite Padraig Harrington and Raphaël Jacquelin.

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player below or stream/download on iTunes.

The 39 year old was at Portstewart this week for the 2017 edition of the Irish Open and he sifted back amid his fond memories of the tournament. 

"The Irish crowds are amazing and there were so many people out there and what was so fantastic was - I think at Baltray you go on about the 14th and 13th hole and then it heads out towards the furthest part of the golf course but you just see the rolling dunes. And the Irish crowds, there is nothing like it. It's like a fifth major," he said.

Austraila's Brett Rumford hits his approach shot to the 11th green at the 2010 Irish Open ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

"I swear to God, when you get 20,000-25,000 people crammed on those last six holes of a Championship, it's just incredible and the Irish are just so respectful of any champion, any worthy champion."

He also added that he fell in love with the European Tour during his time taking part and missed it when he spent 2008 in the US.  

On his short game, the Perth native explained how he became so proficient at it. 

"I worked hard on it, when I was younger. I suppose that was the key to it. It certainly wasn't a gift," he said, adding that "just through playing with the guys over the years, my reputation has come about" in regards to how his contemporaries rate his short game highly and seek his advice.

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