23 Aug 2021 | Professional golf |

Pampling ends 18-year Champions Tour drought

by PGA of Australia

Rod Pampling tees off during his win.

By Tony Webeck

Queensland’s Rod Pampling has ended Australia’s 18-year winless drought on the Champions Tour with a one-stroke victory at the Boeing Classic in Washington.

Not since Rodger Davis was victorious at the 2003 Toshiba Senior Classic has an Aussie in the mens senior ranks enjoyed a win on US soil, Peter Senior finishing runner-up on five occasions including three times in 2011 alone.

The 51-year-old seemed unlikely to end that run of outs for Aussies when he began the final round in a tie for 12th and four shots off the lead but an equal-best Sunday round of 6-under 66 proved to be enough.

“There is so much pressure getting that first win and to finally get it done is great,” Pampling told Golf Channel immediately after his win was confirmed.

“Obviously getting to Hawaii next year was one of the goals I set for myself and I’m looking forward to trying to get the (Charles) Schwab Cup now.”

Cradling a one-stroke lead with four holes to play, Pampling missed an opportunity to double his advantage when a birdie putt from close range at the par-5 15th caught the right edge of the hole and spun out.

He put himself in ideal position with his tee shot at the 16th but with just a wedge in hand came up short of the elevated green and his pitch shot left some eight feet to save par, shaving the right lip again to fall into a tie with Jim Furyk at 12-under.

A tense par save at the par-3 17th kept Pampling tied at the top and when his approach shot into the par-5 18th got caught up in the long grass on a downslope beside the bunker he had to play away from the hole, two-putting from the fringe for par to post 12-under.

With Austin and Jim Furyk one stroke behind and with holes up their sleeve, Pampling’s total didn’t appear on the surface to be enough yet when Austin bogeyed the last and Furyk’s birdie putt slid under the low side of the hole he finished alone at the top of the leaderboard.

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