PHOTO: Steve Dykes/Getty Images.
Rod Pampling picked up his 3rd career PGA Tour win Sunday in Las Vegas. After winning his 1st event in 2004, it would take only two more years to capture his 2nd. What happened over the next 6-7 years has to be every professional golfers nightmare who has tasted victory at the highest level.
Since the end of the 2008 season, Rod Pampling would record no victories and only 8 top 10 finishes in his next 147 starts.
It got to a point where he had become a journey man who would go to the Web.com Tour to try and regain his spot on the highest level. In 2015 he would win on the web.com tour which got him back to the PGA Tour. He was a coin flip to play the weekend 2016 which sent him back to the Web.com Tour finals where he would finish inside the Top 25 in all three finals events and earn himself a ticket back to the big stage.
Starting his 2017 season with a MC and T42, things possibly didn’t look so good for the 47 year old. What happens next is what I would call “It’s your week” type of moment.
Pampling was among the 12 players who got into the field because of a clerical error – the field was scheduled to be reduced from 144 to 132 players because of the playing dates being moved to November (less daylight available), but the field change was never entered in the Tour’s system.
It’s one thing to get a break, but it’s another to capitalize on it. I can’t think of a better way to capitalize on it than to open with a first round 60 and win the golf event by two shots by making a 30 foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole. He would make 8 birdies in his final round and turn a back nine comeback into what I’m sure he would call his most satisfying victory.
What this win gets Rod Pampling
- 2017 Masters.
- 2017 Tournament of Champions
- 2017 Players Championship
- 2017 PGA Championship
- Exempt through 2019 PGA Tour Season. The exemption will carry Pampling through on the PGA Tour until his 50th birthday, which ironically enough is just in time for him to be eligible for the PGA Tour Champions.
When you look at the stats at the end of the week, you can see a bunch of stats that jump off the page. Pampling made a bunch of birdies/eagles against a small amount of bogies. Tee to green and around the green you could say he was superb all week which typically will equate to high finishes.
Living in the Tiger Woods era places an unrealistic expectation on how hard it is to win on the PGA Tour. To tee it up against 130-160 of the best players each week, it only takes one guy to have a hot week for you to come home without the trophy. For some winning comes easier than others and some never win at all.
The tour moves on to the OHL Classic at Mayakoba at the El Camaleon GC in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
2015 OHL MAyakoba Champion Graeme McDowell
Go out and make some birdies.
Michael Romano Jr