(Reuters) – Australian Rod Pampling ended a decade-long drought on the PGA Tour when he won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open by two strokes from American Brooks Koepka in Las Vegas on Sunday.
The seasoned 47-year-old made a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th hole on his way to a six-under-par 65 at TPC Summerlin in the Nevada desert.
He stamped his third PGA Tour victory by sinking a 30-foot birdie at the last to clinch his first tour win since the 2006 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“Winning Arnold Palmer’s event is still on top (of career highlights) but coming back from what we have the last few years to get a win, it’s phenomenal, amazing,” Pampling said in a greenside interview, before thanking his family for supporting him through a series of lean years.
“To win this magnificent event, it’s fantastic, a great feeling.”
Pampling, ranked 451st in the world, is the oldest winner on tour since Davis Love III won in Greensboro in Aug., 2015.
He looked like frittering away victory when he three-putted the 10th hole and dropped another shot at the 12th after missing a four-footer.
But he steadied the ship with clutch putting, sinking birdie putts from 13 feet, 18 feet and 11 feet respectively over the next three holes.
He was tied with American Glover with two holes left, before the American bogeyed the 17th to open the door.
Glover also bogeyed the last to fall to third, three shots back of Pampling, who finished at 20-under 264.
“It seems the Australians are starting to kick it in again,” said Pampling, the fifth player from the country to win on tour this year after Jason Day, Adam Scott, Aaron Baddeley and Greg Chalmers.
“We were dormant for a little while there. Jason and Scotty have kicked it on, so just glad to grab one of those spokes and be part of the big wheel.”
In 2006, Pampling had thought he was on the road to more victories after winning the late Palmer’s event.
“In ’06 I still thought there were a few more really quickly, but that’s golf,” he said.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)