By Jay Betsill
Flower Mound resident Rod Pampling captured his first PGA Tour victory in 10 years when he closed with a 6-under 65 for a two-shot win at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at the TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
“It’s extremely rewarding,” Pampling said. “Winning Arnold Palmer’s event is still on top. But coming back from what we’ve had the last few years, to get a win under the belt, it’s phenomenal.”
Ironically, a clerical error allowed Pampling and eleven other golfers entry into the field, increasing the field from 132 to 144 and the 47-year-old Australian took full advantage with an opening round 60 en route to his first win since the 2006 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.
The victory was the third of Pampling’s PGA Tour career and vaults him from No. 451 up to No. 162 in the Official World Golf Rankings and ensures he will be exempt until he turns 50 and is eligible for PGA Tour Champions. He also earns a spot in The Masters, The Players Championship, PGA Championship and Tournament of Champions.
Brooks Koepka finished second, followed by 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover.
Notables include Geoff Ogilvy (T4, -16), Keegan Bradley (T, -15), Ryan Moore (T15, -13), Webb Simpson (T31, -10), Billy Horschel (T41, -8) and Davis Love III (T41, -8).
Next up on the PGA Tour is the OHL Classic at Maykoba at El Cameleon Golf Club. Notables in the field include Keegan Bradley, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Jerry Kelly, Chris Kirk, Ian Poulter and Jim Furyk.