Pampling wins by two strokes in Vegas, ending long drought
Rod Pampling won for the first time in 10 years on the PGA Tour when he closed with a 6-under 65 for a two-shot victory Sunday in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Pampling holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole at the TPC Summerlin that clinched the
victory. He raised his right arm and thrust it when the ball was still another foot away from the cup. The 47-year-old Australian last won on the PGA Tour at Bay Hill in 2006. Brooks Koepka closed with a 67 to finish second. Lucas Gloverwas tied with Pampling with two holes to play until he made a bogey from the bunker on the par-3 17th, and he closed with another bogey when winning was out of reach. He shot a 69 to finish third.
Pampling’s last victory was in the 2008 Australian Masters. He lost his PGA Tour card after the 2013 season and spent two years on the Web.com Tour, and had to return to the Web.com Tour Finals last month just to get his card back. His biggest shot might have been for par. Tied for the lead on the par-5 16th, he pushed his drive well right into rough so deep that Pampling asked to identify his ball, and it was a good thing - it wasn’t his ball. His ball was a foot to the right, buried so badly that he could only muscle it some 30 yards behind another tree, and he had to lay up short of the water. From 121 yards, Pampling hit wedge into 6 feet and saved par to stay tied.
Glover’s tee shot on the 17th was about a foot away from being good, but it caught the lip of the bunker and left a difficult shot. He missed a 12-foot par putt and never caught up.
Pampling finished at 20-under 264 and will be exemption up until his 50th birthday when he is eligible for the PGA Tour Champions. The victory was the third of his PGA Tour career for Pampling, who also won the now-defunct International in 2004. It puts him in the Masters for the first time since 2007, along with the PGA Championship for the first time since 2009.
DOMINION CHARITY CLASSIC
Scott McCarron won the Dominion Charity Classic to get a top-five spot next week in PGA Tour Champions finale, beating Tom Byrum with a 6-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff.
McCarron will start next week in Arizona second in the points to two-time defending champion Bernhard Langer, with all of the top five in the reset standings - Colin Montgomerie is second, followed by Joe Durant and Miguel Angel Jimenez - in position to win the season title with a victory at Desert Mountain.
McCarron and Byrum each shot 3-under 69 to finish at 13 under on the James River Course at The Country Club of Virginia. Byrum missed a 15footer before McCarron holed the winning putt. The 51-year-old McCarron won the Principal Charity Classic in Iowa in June for his first senior victory. He won three times on the PGA Tour.
Kevin Sutherland shot a course-record 63 to tie for third with Brandt Jobe (67) at 11 under.
Sutherland just missed a top-five spot, ending up sixth. Langer would have locked up the season championship weeks ago under the old format, but the new three-event FedEx Cup-style system means he has to play to claim the title. Playing with a sore knee that kept him out of last week’s tournament, shot a 71 to tie for sixth at 9 under.
TOTO JAPAN CLASSIC
Shanshan Feng needed every bit of the three-stroke lead she took to final hole at chilly Taiheiyo Club to finish off her second straight LPGA Tour victory. The 27-year-old Chinese star closed with a double-bogey 6 to beat Ha Na Jang by a stroke in the TOTO Japan Classic, the last of six straight events in Asia. Feng closed with a 2-under 70 for a 13-under 203 total, the double bogey her only dropped shots since the fourth hole Friday.
The winner last week in steamy Malaysia, Feng has finished no worse than a tie for fourth in her last seven events. She started the run with the Olympic bronze medal in Rio, tied for fourth at Evian in France, opened the Asia trip at home in China with a fourth-place tie, was second behind Jang in Taiwan and tied for third in South Korea. Playing two groups ahead of Feng, Jang birdied 16 and 17 in her third 68. The South Korean player has three victories this year, beating Feng by a stroke in Taiwan. Feng shot a tournament-best 64 on Saturday to take one-stroke lead over second-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn into the final round. Jutanugarn missed a chance to wrap up the LPGA Tour player of the year award with a victory, shooting a 74 to drop into a tie for 10th at 8 under. The Thai star leads the tour with five victories and also tops the money list.
TURKISH AIRLINES OPEN
Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen held on to win the Turkish Airlines Open for his fourth European Tour title. Seven strokes ahead entering the round, Olesen closed with a 2-under 69 for a three-stroke victory over England’s David Horsey (65) and China’s Li Haotong (65). After Horsey cut the lead to a shot, Olesen birdied the 12th, 14th and 15th. He finished at 20-uner 264 at Regnum Carya and earned nearly $1.2 million.
LAS VEGAS: Rod Pampling, of Australia, holds the trophy after winning the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open golf tournament Sunday, in Las Vegas.