Rankin realises dream with NT PGA victory
32-year-old Brett Rankin desperately wanted a win and he got his wish on Sunday with a superb victory at the Tailor-made Building Services NT PGA Championship.
Across the tournament, the 32-year-old shot 65, 68, 68 and a record-equaling 63 to card a 20-under par total – three strokes clear of Taylor Macdonald (17-under) and elite amateur Lawry Flynn (16-under par) to claim his maiden Tour title.
Brett Rankin (Credit: PGA Australia)
The victory gives Rankin full exemption onto the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia until the end of the 2020 season.
“Today was a dream. I just played so well. It’s just so good to get over the line,” an emotional Rankin said.
“I’ve been working so hard lately. I’ve just always been known as a pro-am player and never getting it done on the Tour scenes. It’s just so good to get it done.”
“I was desperate to get the win this weekend. I feel like I’ve been playing really well the past couple of years and not really getting as much as I would like out of the game.
Rankin started with a bang, sinking a birdie on the first hole then following it up with an eagle and another birdie.
He quickly leap-frogged overnight leader Andrew Martin, who slumped to sixth following a 1-over par round (14-under par), and consolidated his lead by the eighth hole.
Rankin kept the door ajar for young-gun Kade McBride and Adam Burdett with a 12th-hole bogey. But the hiccup only spurred the veteran on, rebounding with four birdies across the next five holes to give him an insurmountable advantage heading to the 18th green.
“I got hot towards the end. I knew I had a strong lead and I was hungry to extend it,” he said.
“To come down the final hole with a handy five-shot lead made it so much easier to combat the swirly breeze.
“The final putt was easy. I gave myself the opportunity to lay it up with a nice tap in. It was an incredible moment.”
When asked how much the win meant to him, a teary-eyed Rankin acknowledged the support of his father.
“I know my dad will be crying,” he said.