TO say Rod Pampling was a surprise winner on the PGA Tour a fortnight ago would be an understatement.
The 47-year-old has bounced between the secondary Web.com Tour and the main Tour for the past three years and it had been a full decade since his previous victory at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Classic.
But while Australian fans cheered what seemed an underdog story the man himself wasn’t particularly surprised by the result.
A curling 20-foot birdie putt that sealed the deal by two at the Shriners Open in Las Vegas was not only an exclamation point on a pressure packed final day but the realisation of a lifelong dream.
“You’ve always dreamt about making a putt to win it and I hadn’t had that big moment,” he said.
“And that was the one. It was huge. One I’ll always look back on.”
Pampling says while it was a decade between wins he never lost the self-belief that he could do it.
“There were some close calls in amongst that for the two to three year window (prior to the Vegas win),” he says.
“I think it’s one of those that if the close call gets you another win then you can go on and win again.
“But when it stops there’s just that little bit of self-doubt.”
Photo: Justin Falconer
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