Newsmaker of the month: Rod Pampling (pictured)
It pales in comparison to the 43-year premiership wait for his beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs, yet Rod Pampling broke an Australian golf drought of his own with his breakthrough PGA Tour Champions victory at the Boeing Classic.
Australians had gone winless on the American senior circuit since Rodger Davis’s Toshiba Senior Classic victory in 2003, and 51-year-old Pampling seemed unlikely to end that 18-year wait when he began the final round in 12th position and four shots off the lead. But a final round of six-under 66 and the inability of either Jim Furyk or Woody Austin to birdie the last hole saw Pampling finish one shot clear at 12-under par.
“To get a win you’ve got to play good and thankfully I did,” Pampling said. “We got a little bit lucky at the end, but sometimes that’s what you need.
“You look at all the Hall of Famers who are just phenomenal out here. There’s so many and they still play really good golf. People think they don’t, but I’ll tell you what, they play so good. It’s just not quite as far off the tee anymore, but everything else is still really good.
“There is so much pressure getting that first win and to finally get it done is great.”
Cameron Smith: Lost on the first playoff hole of the Northern Trust tournament when his tee shot flared right and out-of-bounds. Smith finished the FedEx Cup Playoffs in 14th position, collecting $US583,750 in what was his best year on the PGA Tour to date.
Australian Open and Australian PGA: Australia’s two showpiece events were postponed for a second time in two years due to COVID-19 border restrictions. The 2021 championships are now slated to be played in the early weeks of 2022.
Brett Drewitt: In a marathon Korn Ferry Tour season, Drewitt earned promotion back to the PGA Tour by finishing 24th in the regular season points race, winning the Lincoln Land Championship to go with seven top-10 finishes.
Lavarack Golf Club: The nine-hole course located within the Lavarack Army Barracks in Townsville faces an uncertain future after the Australian Defence Force confirmed it did not plan to renew Lavarack Golf Club’s Commonwealth of Australia Licence when it expires on November 13. Members will be given until several weeks later, on December 17, to vacate the premises.
Grace Kim, Emily Mahar, Kirsty Hodgkins and Stephanie Bunque: The Aussie quartet all advanced to the second stage of LPGA Tour Qualifying School in October after finishing inside the top 95 players at Stage One in California.
adidas Golf: Announced a new apparel recycling initiative with the PGA of Australia that will see current apparel worn by PGA staff recycled and uniforms issued from 2022 onwards selected from an adidas Golf range that is 100 percent made with recycled materials.
Ogilvy Cocking Mead: The golf-course design company featuring US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy has begun the construction phase of three new golf holes at Yallourn Golf Club in Victoria’s Gippsland region, host of the first two Gippsland Super 6 tournaments.
67,000,000 to 1
The odds of two holes-in-one in a single round are 1 in 67 million, but Blackheath golfer Christo Macartney defied those unlikely numbers on August 21. After finding the bottom of the cup with an 8-iron at the par-3 second hole, Macartney doubled his luck with a second ace – this time with a 7-iron at the par-3 13th. For his remarkable feat Macartney received two certificates to the Accolade Wins Hole-In-One Club, a bottle of wine, a cap and he combined with close friend Carlos Donoso to win the two-ball aggregate event with 80 Stableford points.
He did what?
Lucas Herbert made every professional golfer’s worst nightmare come true when he booked flights to Columbus, Georgia, rather than Columbus, Ohio. Fresh from a top-five finish at the Albertsons Boise Open where he secured a PGA Tour card, Herbert spent a night in Georgia via Dallas before travelling the next morning to Ohio for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the second of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals events.
Image by Getty images: james Gilbert