Pampling wins Masters from playoff
Golf Australian Masters: Australia's Rod Pampling beat compatriot Marcus Fraser on the third hole of a tense sudden-death playoff to clinch the Australian Masters at Huntingdale today.
The pair had ended regulation on 12-under 276, after Pampling shot a five-under 67, while Fraser had the round of the day with a seven-under 65.
Two-time champion Robert Allenby (73), the overnight joint leader, finished third on nine-under 279 after his challenge disintegrated at the par-three 15th with a double bogey when he had been within a shot of the lead.
"It's great to win at home, and particularly the Masters, which is such a great event," said Pampling. "I knew I was hitting the ball well and I hit a lot of great shots."
In the playoff, both made par on the first hole, the par-four 18th, while the second time around, Fraser recovered from a disastrous tee shot to make par and take the playoff to a third hole.
The pressure told on the 30-year-old, however, whose heavily pregnant wife Carlie had to leave the course and go to hospital.
His second shot on the third attempt on 18 sailed through the green and nestled in a drainage hole, forcing him to take a drop.
He chose to putt from the back of the green for birdie. It slid wide to miss par, virtually handing the tournament to Pampling, who tapped in from three-feet.
It was 39-year-old Pampling's first win since the 2006 Bay Hill Invitational.
"They're never fun to be in," Pampling said of the playoff. "You work so hard for 72 holes and then you have to go again. But thankfully I came out on the right end.
"I kept telling myself, 'just hit the shot, hit the shot' There was no pressure or stress...and that certainly helped."
In regulation play, Fraser produced a sizzling 30 on the front nine with six birdies and made the turn with a two-shot lead over Pampling.
He bogeyed the par-four 11 but held his nerve over the final seven holes with two further birdies.
"I played great today, I didn't think I could do too much more," said Fraser. "The last two days are the best golf I have played in a country mile.
"I feel like I'm playing the way I should be...and I reckon I'll get my hands on that trophy one day."