Greg Chalmers wins Australian PGA in playoff

Greg Chalmers wins Australian PGA in playoff

Greg Chalmers.jpg
Greg Chalmers won his second straight event in Australia.
Tertius Pickard/AP

COOLUM, Australia (AP) – Bubba Watson's opening shot of the day was an indication of what was to come, and it wasn't pretty.

Watson, who trailed K.T. Kim by one stroke going into the final round at the Australian PGA, hit his tee shot into a lake on the first hole and ended up with a double-bogey 7 on the way to a 5-over 77. He tied for 12th at 7 under – five strokes out of a playoff.

Another left-hander, Australian Greg Chalmers, made sure his last tee shot Sunday – on the first hole of a three-man playoff – was perfect, and he won with a routine par after Robert Allenby and Marcus Fraser hit errant drives.

Watson, the only American from the victorious American Presidents Cup team last week at Royal Melbourne who headed north to subtropical Queensland state, dropped four shots in his opening four holes and overall had two double bogeys, five bogeys, an eagle, two birdies and eight pars in his final round.

Chalmers went in the other direction, shooting a 5-under 67 on the Hyatt Regency resort course to match Allenby (68) and Fraser (69) at 12-under 276 after 72 holes. Fraser got into the playoff with a cup-hanging, then dropping 50-foot birdie putt on the 18th.

But the playoff became almost anti-climatic after Fraser, hitting first, pulled his tee shot left into the pond that runs along the 18th fairway. Then Allenby pushed his into a clump of trees and rough on the right side.

That left Chalmers' middle-of-the fairway tee shot looking good for his second win in two weeks Down Under, and he made par to win the tournament after Allenby, complaining that a photographer disrupted his concentration, missed a putt that would have continued the playoff between him and Chalmers.

“I was surprised to see that a par was good enough, but that's how it goes sometime in a playoff,'' Chalmers said. “And I really thought I'd have to shoot maybe 8-under to be among the leaders at the end.''

The win means Chalmers added the PGA to his Australian Open win two weeks ago at The Lakes in Sydney, and is two-thirds of the way to the Australian Triple Crown.

The Australian Masters is the third event, and although Chalmers is entered in that tournament beginning Dec. 15 at Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne, he wasn't saying Sunday whether he'd make the trip back east from his parents' home in Perth.

“I couldn't tell you right now, to be brutally honest,'' Chalmers said. “I have played 31 or 32 events this year and I'm tired. It is just a decision I don't want to make right now.''

Adam Scott shot 68 and Aaron Baddeley, who led before two late bogeys, had a 72 to finish at 10-under, two shots out of the playoff and tied for fourth.

Allenby's record in playoffs is a great one, with 10 wins from 12 playoffs. This time, though, he said he was distracted on his par putt.

“I know what playoffs are like, I know how to win them,'' Allenby said. “But I got put off by a camera guy at the back of the green that moved. I had to back off and tell him to stand still and then I just kind of lost a little bit of focus … lost my line that I had chosen the first time. I just couldn't find that spot again and I hit a bad putt.''

Fraser said his huge putt to make the playoff “had beautiful speed, I saw a pretty good line. I thought it sat there for about three hours. In this game, you never know, you never give up.''

Third-round leader Kim and Watson, who trailed by a stroke after 54 holes, were a combined 9-over in the final group. Kim finished with a 76 and was tied for sixth, three strokes behind.

American Rickie Fowler, making his first start in Australia as a professional after winning the world amateur title in 2008 in Adelaide, closed with a 70 and was at 6-under 282, six behind.

Greg Norman had a final-round 74 after a double-bogey 6 on the 18th when his approach went into the pond, finishing eight behind. Geoff Ogilvy shot a final-round 80, including a 9 on the par-3 11th when he put three balls into the water.

British Open champion Darren Clarke shot 70 Sunday after teeing off at 6:35 a.m. local time in the second group of the day. The early start came after he shot a self-described "brutal'' 79 on Saturday, leaving him near the bottom of the 66-man field which made the cut.


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