Friday, August 17, 2018

Rod Pampling wins first PGA Tour event in 10 years

LAS VEGAS — Rod Pampling won for the first time in 10 years on the PGA Tour when he closed with 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 tour at Bay Hill in 2006.

"It's extremely rewarding," said Pampling, who finished at 20-under 264. "Winning Arnold Palmer's event (at Bay Hill) is still on top. But coming back from what we've had the last few years, to get a win under the belt, it's phenomenal. Amazing."

Former FSU star Brooks Koepka closed with 67 to finish second.

Lucas Glover, going for his first victory in five years, was tied with Pampling with two holes to play until he made bogey from the bunker on the par-3 17th, and he closed with another bogey when winning was out of reach. He shot 69 to finish third.

Pampling's last win was in the 2008 Australian Masters. He lost his PGA Tour card after the 2013 season and spent two years on the Tour and had to return to the Tour Finals last month to get his card back.

He was at No. 451 in the rankings, but he played the final round as though he had never left. After missing the 12th green with a wedge, then missing a 4-foot par putt to fall one behind, Pampling bounced back with a 12-foot birdie putt and an 8-iron to 18 feet for birdie on the 14th to catch Glover. But his biggest shot might've been for par.

He pushed his drive so deep into the right rough on the par-5 16th that Pampling asked to identify his ball, and it was a good thing — it wasn't. 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. From 121 yards, Pampling hit wedge into 6 feet and saved par to stay tied.

CHAMPIONS: Scott McCarron made a birdie putt on the first extra hole Sunday and beat Tom Byrum to win the Dominion Charity Classic in Richmond, Va., the second of three playoff events in the senior series. McCarron and Byrum both shot 3-under 69s in regulation to finish at 13-under 203. Byrum created the tie with birdie at No. 16. Both parred the next two holes before McCarron's winner on the extra hole gave him his second win this season. The top five for this week's Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Scottsdale, Ariz. — two-time defending champ Bernhard Langer, McCarron, Colin Montgomerie, Joe Durant and Miguel Angel Jimenez — will automatically win the title by winning the final event.

LPGA: China's Shanshan Feng needed every bit of her three-stroke lead, closing with double-bogey 6 to beat South Korea's Ha Na Jang by a stroke at the Japan Classic in Ibaraki, the last of six straight events in Asia. Feng closed with 2-under 70 for 13-under 203. Jang birdied 16 and 17 for her third 68.

PGA EUROPE: Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen, leading by seven entering the final round, held on for a three-stroke win at the Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya. He closed with 2-under 69 for 20-under 264. The 92nd-ranked Dane's lead was reduced to one at one stage thanks to a scoring burst from David Horsey of England. Horsey and China's Li Haotong shared second at 17 under after matching rounds of 65.