Chalmers wins Down Under, Woods third
SYDNEY - Agence France-Presse
Greg Chalmers of Australia smiles towards spectators on the 18th green after winning the Australian Open. AFP photo
Greg Chalmers won his second Australian Open by a single shot to prolong Tiger Woods’s tournament drought at The Lakes in Sydney yesterday.
A controlled final round of three-under par 69 meant the Australian left-hander finished on a 13-under total of 275, one clear of compatriot John Senden with former world number one Woods a further shot behind in third.
Overnight leader Senden fought back from four bogeys in his opening seven holes to leapfrog Woods to second spot with a 72 for a 12-under 276.
Woods, a 14-time major champion, had a closing 67 for an 11-under 277 which means he has still has not won a tournament since the 2009 Australian Masters.
It was the second success in his national Open for Chalmers after he won at Royal Adelaide in 1998 and it was only his third win on the Australian PGA Tour along with two wins on the secondary U.S. Nationwide Tour.
Chalmers, ranked 215 in the world, was runner-up when Woods won his last tournament at the Australian Masters two years ago at Melbourne’s Kingston Heath.
Chalmers hit the front at the day’s third hole and held it together for a notable victory over a field stacked with U.S. PGA Tour stars, here for next week’s Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne.
Woods, trailing the overnight lead by six shots, moved up the leaderboard with consecutive early birdies.
The American looked in ominous touch with his third birdie at the eighth hole before he struck trouble.
He angrily swiped his club after pulling his drive at the 11th and buried his ball in a bunker on the way to his first bogey when his eight-foot par putt slid by the hole.
But Woods stormed back into contention with his first eagle of the tournament at the par-five 14th, chipping in from off the green to trail Chalmers by one with four holes to play.
Woods narrowly missed a birdie at the 16th with Chalmers clinging to a one-stroke lead, playing three groups behind Woods.
Chalmers birdied the 13th to lead by two shots with holes running out for the American.
Woods had a downhill 12-foot eagle putt at the 17th but it slid past for a tap-in birdie and he trailed Chalmers by one heading to his final hole.
Woods faced a 25-foot birdie putt at the last but left it short and finished his round two behind Chalmers, who still had three holes to play.
Chalmers remained steadfast over the closing holes to maintain his advantage as Senden had a fleeting chance on the last to force a playoff.
Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy had the day’s best round of seven-under 65 to finish joint fourth on nine-under 279.