December 14, Gold Coast - Greg Chalmers staged a remarkable comeback to win the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort on Sunday after the longest-ever playoff in the history of the OneAsia tour to claim the Joe Kirkwood Cup and scoop the A$180,000 first prize.
Chalmers capped an astonishing day by defeating defending champion Adam Scott at the seventh extra hole when the world number three bogeyed the 18th after Chalmers had earlier recorded an eight-under-par 64 to earn a place in the playoff alongside Scott and Wade Ormsby.
“It was an epic day, wasn’t it?” said Chalmers, who claimed his second Australian PGA Championship after previously winning in 2011. “I honestly didn’t think there would be a very slim chance I would be sitting here with all of the guys leading the tournament and doing well.
“But I got away to a fast start, holed about a 50 footer, a 60 footer on the second for a birdie and then I did the same again on the next hole and then I holed a 10 footer, I hit a wedge into 10 feet and then made birdie there and suddenly I was three under through four.
“Things just progressed from there and I got a lot of momentum going and I birdied the holes you should birdie, the par fives, and it turns out we’re in the playoff. I thought it was over when Wade Ormsby hit to within five feet but it turns out that just with tenacity and a little bit of luck and here I am.”
Chalmers, who started the day back in 14th place, rolled in his par putt from four feet to win the title after Scott three-putted the hole having earlier had several opportunities to win the tournament himself.
Scott and Chalmers were joined in the playoff by joint-overnight leader Ormsby after all three finished the tournament on 11-under par, but the South Australian was eliminated after the third time down the 18th when his par was not enough to stay alive as both Scott and Chalmers birdied the hole.
All three players recorded pars in their first two playoff holes before Ormsby was eliminated, while Scott missed a birdie putt on the fourth trip to the green that would have won him the title after Chalmers recovered from a poor tee shot to save par and send the pair down the 18th for a fifth time.
Chalmers had earlier fired off the round of the weekend when he recorded an 64 to surge to the top of the leaderboard and put pressure on Scott and Ormsby.
Chalmers embarked on a run of three straight birdies from the second to the fourth holes to reach the turn in 32 strokes, and he maintained that form on the back nine, taking another 32 blows to complete his round and move to the top of the standings.
Within minutes of Chalmers completing his round, Scott joined him on 11-under by continuing his form on the par-fives with a birdie at the 15th, taking his score for the weekend at the longest holes to a remarkable 15-under.
Ormsby maintained a steady challenge throughout the front nine, playing par golf to the ninth hole, where he picked up his first shot of the day to move onto 11-under, only to drop shots at the 11th and 13th to slip back before a birdie at the 15th put him back to within one shot of the lead.
However, Ormsby drained a 30-foot putt at the last to join Scott and Chalmers at the top of the leaderboard and earn a place in the playoff, only for Chalmers to hold his nerve and take the title in dramatic fashion.
Rory Hie was not able to bring glory back home to Indonesia after a dramatic final round ended in deception with a total of 8 bogeys. As a result he dropped back from a ninth place to a tie for 46th.
Final scores of the Australian PGA Championship (Par 72):
277 - Greg CHALMERS (AUS) 71-71-71-64 (winner after play off), Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 68-67-71-71, Adam SCOTT (AUS) 68-69-69-71
279 - Michael HENDRY (NZL) 70-71-67-71
280 - Scott STALLINGS (USA) 72-70-68-70
281 - Boo WEEKLEY (USA) 66-72-69-74
282 - Matthew GILES (AUS) 73-69-70-70, Scott STRANGE (AUS) 69-66-71-76
283 - John SENDEN (AUS) 73-68-73-69, Cameron SMITH (AUS) 74-68-71-70
291 - Rory HIE (INA) 71-71-69-80