Pampling goes wire-to-wire to win BMW Pro-Am
Queensland’s Rod Pampling honoured his late father in the fitting fashion with a magnificent wire-to-wire victory in the BMW Charity Pro-Am on the Web.Com Tour on Sunday.
The 45-year-old, who played equally brilliant golf to finish runner-up to Jordan Spieth in last year’s Australian Open, reminded all of a pedigree earned over more than 300 PGA TOUR starts by completing the four rounds at 25-under to defeat American Kelly Kraft by two shots.
The victory was Pampling’s first on the Web.Com Tour to add to his two PGA TOUR career wins.
“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 Pampling, “There are so many great players out here. It feels fantastic. It’s tough to win anywhere these days.”
Pampling sizzled with two 8-under 63s on Thursday and Friday but still only held a two-stroke lead heading into Sunday’s final round, despite shooting a 69 at the Thornblade Club in South Carolina on Saturday.
American Roland Thatcher set up an unlikely run at Pampling on Sunday from ten strokes behind by firing eight birdies and an eagle in his first 14 holes. With a 59 in his sights, Thatcher left a five-metre birdie putt on the final hole in the jaws and had to settle for an 11-under 60, a new course record, and third place four back of Pampling.
However it was Pampling’s tournament to win and he sought inspiration from the memory of his father Ken, who passed away at home in Queensland only a month ago.
“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 honour him. I know he was watching.”
Pampling’s return to the winner’s circle netted him $121,500 and a rise to No. 8 on the season money list. He is the second Australian to win on the Web.Com Tour this year after Mathew Goggin’s victory in the season-opener in Panama.
Fellow Aussies Bronson La’Cassie and Alistair Presnell harboured dreams of taking the title on the final day but had to settle for minor placings behind the rampant Queenslander.
La’Cassie finishing at 20-under in a tie for 4th place while Presnell finished in a tie for 14th at 16-under.