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Monday, December 15, 2014

The Limerick Summary: 2014 Australian PGA Championship

Winner: Greg Chalmers

Around the wider world of golf: Jason Day and Cameron Tringale won the Franklin Templeton Shootout; Bernhard and Jason Langer won the PNC Father/Son Challenge; Lee Westwood won the Thailand Golf Championship on the Asian Tour; Shanshan Feng won the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters on the LET for the second time in three years (Charley Hull won the Order of Merit and Amy Boulden won the Omega Rookie of the Year); and Branden Grace won the Alfred Dunhill Championship on the ET.

Greg Chalmers hoists the Australian PGA trophy

I probably could have chosen almost any tournament this past week for this post and it would have been a good choice. Shanshan Feng was nearly perfect in her win at Dubai, as were Jason Day and Cameron Tringale at the Shark Shootout. Lee Westwood made a statement of sorts with his win in Thailand, as did Branden Grace in South Africa; both have been out of the limelight for a while and their wins may be a sign of things to come. And Bernhard Langer now has a team win with both sons Stefan and Jason, leaving only Christina to make it a sweep for the Langer clan.

But the Australian PGA was the biggest event of the week and clearly had the most drama. Adam Scott was in position to defend his title at -10, at least until Greg Chalmers shot a bogey-free 64 to rocket up through the ranks and post at -11 in the clubhouse. By my count only 4 players managed to shoot in the 60s during the last round, and the next closest score was 68. Wade Ormsby and Adam could only manage 71s but that was enough to get them into a 3-way playoff.

And an epic playoff it was, too! Seven times they played the par-4 18th. Twice the trio made par. On the third time through Ormsby missed the green and settled into thick rough, from which he pulled off a miraculous par... which wasn't enough. Scott and Chalmers both made birdie -- the only birdies in the entire playoff.

Those two continued the playoff through four more holes. That's right, a 7-hole playoff where Adam's putting woes continued. It wasn't that he putted particularly bad; he just couldn't get the ball to lip into the cup for birdie. Unfortunately for him, on the seventh hole he couldn't get a par either.

Chalmers putted like a machine all day and, even though he had to work for pars during the playoff, those par putts tracked into the hole from everywhere. Early in the day he made some putts in the 50-60 foot range!

Greg Chalmers hasn't made a big name for himself in the States. He has only two wins here, and both of those are on the Web.com Tour. But he has four Australasian majors -- 2 Australian Opens and now 2 Australian PGAs. That's a pretty distinguished career for anybody so it's my pleasure to also provide him with his second Limerick Summary, to go with his 2011 Australian Open verse:
Greg sliced through the field like a razor,
His putting as straight as a laser—
At least ‘til the playoff,
Where pars were the payoff
As Scott went as cold as a glacier.
The photo came from the tournament page at pga.org.au.

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