Pampling ends drought in Australia play-off

Rod Pampling won the Australian Masters today after edging out Marcus Fraser at the third play-off hole at Huntingdale Golf Club after the two Australians finished at the top of the final round leaderboard locked at 12 under par.

Rod Pampling won the Australian Masters today after edging out Marcus Fraser at the third play-off hole at Huntingdale Golf Club after the two Australians finished at the top of the final round leaderboard locked at 12 under par.

Victorian Fraser carded a brilliant final round seven-under-par 65, which included just one bogey, while Pampling signed for a fourth-round 65 despite missing birdie chances at his last three holes which would have sealed the win.

With Fraser, 30, sat on the practice range, Queensland’s Pampling had three opportunities to claim the victory in regulation but after missing a chance at 16, pushed a six-foot birdie putt at 17 wide right.

At the last, the 39-year-old took his time to line up a 25-foot championship putt, but again missed his chance as the ball drifted left of the hole.

Both players missed long birdie chances on the first trip down the 18th, which saw just one birdie today in regulation, before Fraser found rough off the tee and sand with his second on the return trip down the 18th.

Pampling found the middle of the fairway but his approach failed to clear a bank at the front of the green and rolled back onto the fringes.

After Fraser chipped to the back of the green, Pampling put the pressure on his opponent after getting to within a foot, but Fraser converted from 10 feet to ensure a third play-off hole.

Fraser again missed the green into the 18th and after putting past the hole up a steep hill at the back of the green, missed a par putt and was forced to settle for a bogey to open the door for Pampling.

And he did not turn down the opportunity as he claimed his first Masters green jacket with a simple three-foot par putt to claim his first Australasian Tour victory since the 1999 Canon Challenge and maiden European Tour triumph.

Joint overnight leader Robert Allenby, a two-time Masters champion, was in contention heading into the final holes at 11 under, but was forced to rescue a double-bogey five at the 15th as he holed a 20-foot putt after chipping out of a greenside bunker and finished alone in third at nine under after a 73.

South Africa’s Tim Clark (67), Australia’s Nathan Green (70) and Sweden’s Alexander Noren (68) finished tied for fourth at eight under.

Australia’s David McKenzie (68) finished seventh at seven under, while joint overnight leader Michael Sim finished seven shots off the pace following a 77.

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