Rod Pampling earns second PGA Tour Champions victory

by Joanne Miller

Australian golfer Rod Pampling displayed extraordinary resilience and skill as he battled through rain and completed 33 holes on Sunday to win the rain-delayed SAS Championship. Pampling shot a 68 in the morning and followed it up with a stunning 5-under 67 in the final round to clinch his second career PGA Tour Champions title.

The SAS Championship, held in Cary, North Carolina, served as the last tournament before the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs for the top 72 players. Pampling’s victory propelled him 13 spots up to No. 17 in the rankings, securing his spot in the prestigious playoffs.

Another notable performance in the tournament came from David Duval, who shot a solid 71 and finished tied for 11th. This result allowed Duval to move up seven spots to secure the 71st spot in the Schwab Cup rankings and qualify for the playoffs.

Pampling’s victory was hard-fought, as he had to outperform Steven Alker, who moved up to the second position in the standings following his strong showing. However, Pampling maintained his composure throughout the tournament and finished with a bogey for a two-shot victory over Alker.

The Australian golfer showcased his exceptional skills, playing bogey-free golf in the final round until the end. Pampling even managed to sink back-to-back birdies in the morning, during the completion of the second round. This level of excellence contributed to his well-deserved triumph.

Reflecting on his victory, Pampling admitted it was a challenging day due to the rain delays and the long hours spent on the course. However, he persevered and took his time to maintain his focus. Pampling’s cautious approach paid off, culminating in a memorable win.

Pampling credited his recent hard work and improvement on the golf course for his victory. He expressed his satisfaction with his ball-striking capabilities, putting, and overall performance throughout the week. Clinching a win after overcoming obstacles filled him with a sense of accomplishment and joy.

Several other players also made notable achievements at the SAS Championship. Ernie Els shot a commendable 68 and finished tied for third with Mario Tiziani, who closed with an impressive 65. Tiziani, Stricker’s brother-in-law, managed a successful year, splitting his time between playing on the PGA Tour Champions, supporting his wife’s brother, and occasionally caddying for Stricker. Tiziani secured his spot in the playoffs for the second consecutive year, commencing the postseason at No. 42.

Pampling’s victory at the SAS Championship highlights the dedication, skill, and perseverance required in the game of golf. Battling the elements and enduring a long day on the course, Pampling emerged victorious, solidifying his position in the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs. This well-deserved win marks a significant milestone in Pampling’s golfing career and serves as an inspiration to aspiring golfers worldwide.

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