Third Appearance (Best Finish: T19, 2005) Qualifying win: Shriners Hospital for Childrens Open
A decade had passed since Rod Pampling’s last victory on the PGA TOUR, but the 47-year-old Aussie wasn’t quite ready to ride off into the sunset of his PGA TOUR career. Highlighted by confidence-bolstering 60 in the opening round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – his career low on the PGA TOUR – Pampling went on to win his third career PGA TOUR title by two strokes over Brooks Koepka.
Pampling will return to The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort for the first time since 2007 after hitting the jackpot in Las Vegas. He backed up his Thursday 60 with a 68 to take a one-stroke lead to the weekend, but that narrow lead turned into a deficit after a Saturday 71. Trailing Lucas Glover by one on Sunday, Pampling turned in an eight-birdie performance at TPC Summerlin for a 6-under 65. The exclamation point on his return to PGA TOUR glory came with a 32-foot bomb for birdie on the 18th to shut the door on his competitors.
“You dream of it,” Pampling said of returning to the winner’s circle. “It happened a couple of times, obviously a long time ago. But thankfully I can still remember those, and it's exactly the same. It's just an amazing feeling and it's just what we work so hard for, and it was just nice to finish off with a bomb like that. It makes it even more special.”