While golf started its winter slumber stateside, the sport produced a thrilling finish in the Australian summer.
Adam Scott, who recently announced he and his wife are expecting their first child, was out-dueled by 41-year-old Greg Chalmers in the Australian PGA Championship Sunday. Chalmers needed seven playoff holes to best the 2013 Masters champion. It was the longest extra holes scenario in top tier Australian golf history.
Three players qualified for the playoff. Chalmers was in the clubhouse with a stellar final round 64, but gave little thought to the possibility of heading back out to the tee box. He had started the day seven strokes behind the leaders Scott and Wade Ormsby at Royal Pines. Both men fired 71’s, leaving a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard.
Scott had four birdie putts to win the tournament in extra holes, but missed on all four attempts. That left the door open for Chalmers. Ormsby bowed out after a par on the third playoff hole failed to match his playing mates’ birdies.
Chalmers and Scott continued to trade blows until the latter’s putter, which went cold, let him down. Scott three-putted the seventh and final playoff, while Chalmers tapped in for par to collect his second career Joe Kirkwood Cup. Coincidentally, he won his first one in a three-way playoff as well in 2011.
Chalmers is one of his continent’s less heralded players despite his long career. He’s played off and on on the PGA Tour since 1998, with stops in Europe and the Web.com along the way.
However, he has never won a PGA Tour event in well more than 300 starts. His five PGA of Australia victories account for half of his professional output. But two Australian PGA’s in three years is quite an accomplishment for Chalmers.
As for Scott, his homeswing ends in disappointment, at least on the course. A season ago, the world’s number three ranked player captured the Joe Kirkwood Cup and the Australian Masters. This year, he failed to win any of the Triple Crown events, which also includes the Australian Open, the tournament that jump-started the Jordan Spieth show this fall.
Still, fatherhood is a wonderful thing. We’ll be happy to welcome Scott back to the course a new man with a sidekick in tow.