SANTA has certainly been generous to little Greggie Chalmers this year, bringing him his second Australian golf title in three weeks.
In a dramatic end to the 2011 Australian PGA Championship, Chalmers emerged from the pack to force a one hole playoff with Robert Allenby and Marcus Fraser.
Earlier, it seemed it would be a cake-walk for third round leader KT Kim with perhaps America’s Bubba Watson the only real danger.
But they all fell to horror holes at some stage of the day, as did another short term leader, Aaron Baddeley.
Chalmers was back at 7-under and realistically giving himself little chance of catching the likes of the usually very consistent Kim on 13-under.
The West Australian’s final score of 12-under was a much lower winning score than he had anticipated before teeing off.
“I was a little surprised that 12 under ended up getting into the playoff I thought at the time that would be a nice top three or five tournament,” Chalmers said.
“It was a little tricky today, but I thought there was still quite a few birdies out there. I just tried to play solid golf, I made some very nice putts when I really needed to, my putt on 14 that I made probably saved my day.”
Chalmers, who had a similar come from behind win on the final day of the 2011 Australian Open, will take some time off before deciding whether he will contest the upcoming JBWere Masters and attempt to capture the ‘triple crown’ of Australian golf.
He said while he would love to be at Victoria Golf Club for the Masters the week before Christmas, the decision will ultimately come down to family commitments.
“To be brutally honest I have played 31 or 32 events this year and I’m tired. We don’t dig gold for a living, it’s certainly not something that needs physical strength, it is just a decision I don’t want to make right now.”
“I’ve still got flights booked to go to Perth and see my family. It’s going to be a tough choice I’m not sure what to do.”
To date Robert Allenby is the only player who has taken out the triple crown, doing so in 2005.
Obviously disappointed not to take home his fifth Australian PGA Championship title, Allenby said he was happy to see his game coming back together and the trophy in the hands of a good mate.
“Of course I wanted to win. I wanted to win my fifth PGA there is no question about it,” said Allenby.
“I was pretty pumped. I haven’t been in contention, I haven’t had a chance really for a while to win a tournament so the feeling was pretty nice.”
“I am happy with second, obviously first is what I really, really wanted, but I am happy for Greg. He is a good friend of mine and mates for a long time.”
Fellow playoff entrant Marcus Fraser was likewise optimistic about the result.
“You are going to be disappointed having a chance to win the tournament like that but you have to cop it on the chin and get better, it’s as simple as that,” said Fraser.
Outside the top trio, Adam Scott shot a 4-under 68 to finish in a share of fourth alongside Presidents Cup teammate Aaron Baddeley at 10-under par.
2007 PGA Champion Nick O’Hern finished in a tie for sixth with Marc Leishman and third round leader K.T. Kim, while Jason Day, John Senden and Y.E. Yang rounded out the top 10.
The PGA Tour of Australasia now moves to New Zealand for the staging of the BMW NZ Open hosted by Christchurch to be played at Clearwater Resort.
Stolz takes 2011 OneAsia Order of Merit
With Kim falling by the wayside, Australia’s Andre Stolz secured the 2011 OneAsia Order of Merit.
Kim would have snatched the title with a win but Stolz took the honors, finishing the tournament in a tie for 19th on five under par.
Stolz took the season opening Indonesian Open and backed it up with a win in the Thailand Open. The co-sanctioned Australian PGA Championship was the last event in the OneAsia tour for 2011.2011 Australian PGA Championship Final Results