Rod Pampling Wins BMW Charity Golf Pro-Am
Australian Rod Pampling fired a 5-under-par 66 Sunday to cap off a wire-to-wire win at BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX CORPORATION. Pampling, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR, finished 25-under par and beat out Texan Kelly Kraft by two shots and earn his first Web.com Tour title.
“I don’t care where you’re playing, to shoot 25-under and win only by two, that’s a tribute to the quality of players out here,” said the 45-year old Pampling, who lives in the Dallas area. “There are so many great players out here. It feels fantastic. It’s tough to win anywhere these days.”
Pampling rushed to the front with a 9-under 63 in Thursday’s opener of the event, which paired professionals with top celebrities and amateurs in a unique best-ball format over three different courses. Pampling back that up with a second 63 on Friday and led by two heading into Sunday’s finale at Thornblade Club.
“I knew that a good score would be three or four-under,” said Pampling. “I figured if I shoot 5-under, that makes them shoot 7-under and you’ve got to play awesome on this course to shoot seven.”
Roland Thatcher set the tone early for an awesome day and a potential shoot-out when he chalked up eight birdies and an eagle in his 14 holes and put everyone on “59 watch.” Thatcher started the day 10 shots off the pace but saw his surge fall short when he managed only one birdie over his last four holes.
Thatcher settled for an 11-under 60, a new course record, and eventually solo third place, four back of Pampling.
“I had a feeling like this was out there this morning,” said Thatcher. “It was the best warm up session I had since I could remember. I told my caddie it was going to either 60 or 80, and I happened to be right.”
Thatcher established the number to beat but Pampling was barely into his round when Thatcher was done, giving the eventual winner plenty of time to catch up.
Pampling had plenty of time and plenty on his mind. Barely a month ago, his father Kenneth passed away in Australia and he was front and center on Sunday.
“It was tough to focus but I spoke with my wife and my family about how to deal with it,” said Pampling. “I had stuff written in my pocket to look at all day about him. I knew I couldn’t get ahead of myself, once you do you’ve got no chance. I wanted to honor him. I know he was watching.”
Pampling managed to keep his emotions in check during the closing round, though his game nearly took a tumble with a drive on the par-5, 15th hole that wound up on the wrong side of the trees that guard the fairway on the right.
“I didn’t have much,” he said. “I just tried to hit a high, hook wedge over back over the trees but it didn’t get there. Then I didn’t have anything to shoot and the fourth one was no good either. I made a nice six.”
A two-putt birdie from 50 feet on the par-5, 16th reestablished his lead at two shots over Kraft, who wound up shooting a bogey-free 66.
“The putt at 16 was huge,” said Pampling. “Up the hill and back down. I was hoping that if I could get it to six feet I’d be happy. That darn thing nearly went in.”
A tap-in birdie and two closing pars were all Pampling needed to return to the winner’s circle and collect a check for $121,500 that vaulted him from No. 72 to No. 8 on the money list through nine of 21 regular season events.
“Once you’re on the PGA TOUR it’s pretty easy to stay out there but getting back is extremely difficult,” said Pampling who has made 316 career starts on TOUR. “You’ve got to dig deep. This one is pretty special.”
|1||Rod Pampling||63-63-69-66—261 (-25)||$121,500|
|2||Kelly Kraft||68-63-66-66—263 (-23)||$72,900|
|3||Roland Thatcher||71-67-67-60—265 (-21)||$45,900|
|4||Miguel Carballo||65-68-66-67—266 (-20)||$29,700|
|Bronson La’Cassie||66-66-67-67—266 (-20)||$29,700|
* Sunday’s weather: Partly cloudy. Sind S-SW 7-15 mph. Overnight low 62. High 85.
* A total of 16 teams (6 celebrity and 10 amateur) advanced to Sunday’s final round. The team of Peter Malnati and actor Lucas Black finished at 44-under par to win the celebrity portion of the event. Professional Kelly Kraft and partner Richard Kay also finished at 44-under par to win the amateur portion. Rod Pampling and his partner, Stewart Spinks were one shot back at 43-under.
* Rod Pampling earned his first Web.com Tour victory in his 85th career start. Pampling made 50 total starts in 2000 and 2001 and had three runner-up finishes in 2001, including two losses in playoffs.
* Pampling’s win comes at the age of 45 years, 7 months and 24 days. He is the second player in his 40’s to win this year.
* Pampling has now finished T8-T71-1st in his last three starts on the Web.com Tour.
* Pampling was born in Queensland, Australia and now lives in the Double Oak, Texas (Dallas area).
* Pampling’s two wins on the PGA TOUR came in 2004 at The INTERNATIONAL and 2006 at the Bay Hill Invitational.
* Pampling is the first wire-to-wire winner on Tour this year and the first since Andres Gonzales at the 2014 Utah Championship.
* Pampling is the seventh first-time winner on Tour in nine tournaments this year.
* Dallas resident Kelly Kraft picked up a check for $72,900 and upped his season total to $192,812, which moved him from No. 10 to No. 2 on the money list. That total should be more than enough to lock up one of the 25 PGA TOUR cards that will be handed out at the end of the regular season.
* Roland Thatcher missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the final that would have given him a round of 59.
“I really felt like I hit the putt the way I wanted to,” he said. “I’m a bit embarrassed. You don’t want to leave it short for a chance at 59. I felt like I had to get it started on line and it would go. It was short maybe a half rotation. Not even that much, a couple of dimples.”
* Thatcher became the 23rd player in Tour history to shoot a 60. There have been five 59’s posted since the Tour’s inception in 1990.
* Ireland’s Seamus Power collected a new BMW X4 when he made a hole in one on the par-3, 17th hole Sunday.
“We’ve been talking about it all week,” said Power. “I had one more shot at it.”
Power used a 7-iron for his 10th career ace.
“It was a perfect number. I think it was 189 front, down breeze,” said Power. “It landed right where I wanted, about 15 feet short and rolled right in.”
* Oddly, Power’s ace came a couple hours after his playing partner, Ryan Blaum, chalked up a double-eagle on the par-5, 5th hole. Blaum hit a 4-iron from 222 yards for the first albatross of his career.
“He (Power) gets a car and according to par, my shot’s better,” joked Blaum afterwards. “According to the odds, my shot is better and I don’t get a car. Can you explain that to me?”
|Thornblade Club (host)||Front (35)||Back (36)||Total (71)|
|Green Valley CC||Front (36)||Back (36)||Total (72)|
|The Reserve at Lake Keowee Front (36)||Back (36)||Total (72)|