27 May 2024 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Heartbreak at Senior PGA

by Tony Webeck

Greg Chalmers Richard Green Senior PGA
Greg Chalmers and Richard Green had to settle for the minor placings at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Photos: Ryan Lochhead/PGA of America via Getty Images (Chalmers); Patrick McDermott/Getty Images (Green)

A Richard Bland buzzsaw and frustrating weather delay has conspired to deny Australians Richard Green and Greg Chalmers victory at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in Michigan.

The 54-hole co-leader alongside Ernie Els at Harbor Shores, Chalmers went toe-to-toe with Bland until the Englishman’s eagle on 15 and a suspension of play shortly afterward robbed the West Australian of any positive momentum.

Play was suspended for a total of 74 minutes and, when it resumed, Chalmers made his first bogey of the day on 16, going straight underneath his ball with his chip shot after missing the green with his approach.

He fell out of contention with two more bogeys at 17 and 18 as Bland shot 8-under 63 for a 17-under total to win by three from Green (65) with Chalmers (68) falling to third.

Playing in his first senior tournament, Bland began the day one back of the lead yet two holes in had moved past both Els and Chalmers to assume the front-running position.

When he made bogey on three and Chalmers recorded his first birdie of the day, the lead once again changed hands, a trend that would continue throughout the day.

Four birdies in the space of six holes saw American Chris DiMarco join Chalmers and Bland at 12-under before falling one back when Chalmers and Bland both made birdies at the par-4 eighth.

Bland took full advantage of back-to-back par-5s at nine and 10 to lead by two, Chalmers responding with consecutive birdies of his own at 11 and 12 to stay within one.

Bland’s bogey at the par-3 13th and Chalmers’ birdie from 18 feet on 14 saw the West Australian once again take the outright lead only for Bland to come in over the top with an eagle from six feet at the par-5 15th.

Play was suspended 10 minutes later due to dangerous weather in the area and when it resumed the two-time Australian Open dropped shots at both 16 and 17, handing Bland a three-shot buffer heading to the 72nd hole.

“Even though I didn’t finish as strongly as I would like, I have to take solace in the fact that I was 3-over at the start of the tournament on Thursday and here I am, finished third outright,” said Chalmers, who earned $US238,000 for his week's work.

“It’s a great week in any first major, first real taste of being in the last group and seeing some things about what it takes and what I need to work on and improve.

“I take a lot of positives about it. I’m hopeful I can get another opportunity down the line.

“Ironically, I’m in the US Open and the British Open coming up, so hoping I’ll get some chances to get in this position again.”

Green’s surge came late on Sunday with eagles at both 12 and 15, taking his tally for the week to five.

He holed an 8-iron from 139 yards at the par-4 12th and then converted his chance from eight feet at the par-5 15th to reach 14-under.

A three-time winner on the Legends Tour in Europe, Green believes he is closing in on a maiden win in the US.

“Just think it adds to your confidence and belief that you can hang in there under pressure, you can take it all the way to the end,” said Green, who earned $US378,000 for second.

“That’s all you can really take out of it. I work so hard on my game in the background and it’s up to me to be mentally strong in those situations.”

In a week that began with 14 Aussies in the field, five finished inside the top 20.

Queenslander Scott Hend (66) also made eagle on 15 on his way to a tie for fourth while Stuart Appleby shot 67 in the final round to climb into a tie for 14th.

Michael Wright (68) enjoyed his best finish on the PGA TOUR Champions with a tie for 17th as Cameron Percy finished tied 21st in his seniors debut.It was a near miss too for Rhein Gibson on the Korn Ferry Tour.

The New South Welshman eagled his final hole of the Visit Knoxville Open for a closing round of 4-under 66, one shy of the playoff won by Harry Higgs at the second extra hole.

Photos: Ryan Lochhead/PGA of America via Getty Images (Chalmers); Patrick McDermott/Getty Images (Green)

Australasian Results PGA TOUR Champions KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship Harbor Shores, Benton Harbor, Michigan 1 Richard Bland 64-66-74-63—267 2 Richard Green 64-71-70-65—270 3 Greg Chalmers 69-68-66-68—271 T4 Scott Hend 68-68-70-66—272 T14 Stuart Appleby 70-69-72-67—278 T17 Michael Wright 69-67-75-68—279 T21 Cameron Percy 69-72-68-71—280 T39 David McKenzie 72-72-71-70—285 T57 Vijay Singh (FI) 67-77-73-72—289 T67 Mark Hensby 68-71-77-76—292 T75 Mick Smith 72-70-74-78—294 MC Steve Allan 73-73—146 MC Michael Long (NZ) 72-74—146 MC Rod Pampling 70-77—147 MC David Bransdon 76-75—151 MC Brad Burns 72-81—153 DQ John Senden 75-70—145 WD Michael Campbell (NZ)

PGA TOUR Charles Schwab Challenge Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas 1 Davis Riley 66-64-66-70—268 $US1.638m T12 Adam Scott 69-68-69-71—277 $180,635 T24 Min Woo Lee 69-68-68-74—279 $70,866 T32 Ryan Fox (NZ) 68-67-71-74—280 $51,961 T56 Cam Davis 69-70-69-76—284 $20,839

DP World Tour Soudal Open Rinkven International GC, Antwerp, Belgium 1 Nacho Elvira 64-64-67-71—266 €393,133.92 T7 Sam Jones (NZ) 62-70-70-67—269 €59,663.85 T48 Jason Scrivener 72-66-69-70—277 €9,096.04 T57 David Micheluzzi 69-69-68-72—278 €6,590.77 MC Haydn Barron 72-72—144 MC Daniel Hillier (NZ) 72-70—142

Ladies European Tour Jabra Ladies Open Evian Resort Golf Club, France 1 Morgane Metraux 67-64-72—203 €45,000 T5 Momoka Kobori (NZ) 72-71-67—210 €9,500 T27 Kirsten Rudgeley 72-72-73—217 €3,375 MC Amy Walsh 75-74—149

Japan Golf Tour Road to the British Open Mizuno Open JFE Seto Inland Sea Golf Club, Okayama 1 Ryosuke Kinoshita 69-66-70-71—276 ¥20m T28 Michael Hendry 68-73-71-74—286 ¥670,000 T35 Brad Kennedy 69-74-69-75—287 ¥540,000 MC Anthony Quayle 74-74—148

Korn Ferry Tour Visit Knoxville Open Holston Hills Country Club, Knoxville, Tennessee 1 Harry Higgs 64-65-67-65—261 $US180,000 Won on the second hole of sudden death playoff T3 Rhein Gibson 66-66-64-66—262 $44,375 T64 Dimi Papadatos 66-69-70-69—274 $4,010 MC Brett Drewitt 68-72—140 MC Jimmy Zheng (NZ) 73-69—142

Challenge Tour Danish Golf Challenge Odense Eventyr Golf, Odense, Denmark 1 Andreas Halvorsen 66-66-66-71—269 €43,200 MC Andrew Martin 74-70—144 MC Tom Power Horan 74-75—149 MC Hayden Hopewell 77-73—150 MC Connor McKinney 76-80—156

Korean PGA Tour KB Financial Liiv Championship Blackstone Golf Club, Icheon, Korea 1 Seungsu Han 72-67-67-71—277 T55 Wonjoon Lee 73-71-75-74—293 T58 Sungjin Yeo (NZ) 73-71-76-74—294 MC Kevin Chun (NZ) 77-71—148 MC Junseok Lee 82-69—151

Sunshine Tour KitKat Cash & Carry Pro-am Irene Country Club, Centurion 1 Kieran Vincent 67-67-67-66—267 MC Austin Bautista 77-72—149

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