Australia’s Rod Pampling won the Sportsbet Australian Masters at Huntingdale Golf Club in Melbourne following a playoff against countryman Marcus Fraser.
The pair finished the day locked on 12-under-par after Fraser had completed a fabulous closing 65 and Pampling had followed him home with an impressive 67. So a playoff was required and they made their way back to the 18th – a hole that saw just one birdie during the fourth round.
Both men settled for regulation pars on the first extra hole after two long birdie chances were missed. On the second extra hole, Fraser found rough from the tee then a bunker with his approach. Pampling’s drive was into the fairway, but his second came up just short. Fraser pitched from the sand to the back of the green before Pampling chipped up stone dead, piling the pressure on Fraser. The Victorian stood up to it though as he holed from 10 feet to keep the competition alive.
Back down the 18th for a third time, Fraser missed the green in two once again. He putted onto the green up a steep bank, but couldn’t convert the resulting par effort. Pampling was left with a three-footer for par that he duly holed to secure the victory.
It was the Australian’s first European Tour victory but Pampling remained cool. “I played great and I hit a lot of quality shots,” Pampling said. “There was no stress at any stage.”
After the round Fraser revealed he had other things on his mind as earlier in the day his wife Carlie (who is eight months pregnant) had shown signs of an early labour.
“I just hope that she’s alright and the baby’s okay, that’s the priority,” Fraser said. “Golf’s not even in the picture. The last two days is the best golf I’ve played by a country mile – I feel like I’m back to the way I should be playing. I reckon I’m going to get my hands on that trophy one day.”
Robert Allenby, the joint overnight leader, stayed in contention until the closing stages when a double bogey at the 15th effectively ended his chances. Michael Sim, the other man in the box seat after round three, carded a disappointing 77 to finish back on -5.
Sportsbet Australian Masters
Huntingdale GC, Australia
Nov 27-30, purse €1,500,000, par 72
1 Rod Pampling (Aus) 71 68 70 67 276 €140,193
2 Marcus Fraser (Aus) 73 67 71 65 276 €79,443
3 Robert Allenby (Aus) 73 66 67 73 279 €52,573
T4 Tim Clark (RSA) 67 70 76 67 280 €32,193
T4 Nathan Green (Aus) 72 68 70 70 280 €32,193
T4 Alexander Noren (Swe) 73 71 68 68 280 €32,193
7 David McKenzie (Aus)72 70 71 68 281 €24,293
T8 Martin Erlandsson (Swe)74 71 71 67 282 €21,029
T8 Marc Leishman (Aus) 71 70 74 67 282 €21,029
T8 Anthony Summers (Aus) 70 68 71 73 282 €21,029
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage.
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